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The Diary of 
Dr. John William Polidori 

The Diary of 

Dr. John WilHam PoHdori 


Relating to Byron, Shelley, etc. 

Edited and Elucidated by 
William Michael Rossetti 

"Mi fur mostrati gli spiriti magni 
Che del vederli in me stesso n'esalto." — Dante. 





Richard Clav & Sons, Limited, 

brkad street hill, e.c., and 

bungay, suffolk. 







The Diary of 
Dr. John William Polidori 


A PERSON whose name finds mention in the 
books about Byron, and to some extent in those 
about Shelley, was John William Polidori, M.D. ; he 
was Lord Byron's travelling physician in 1816, when 
his Lordship quitted England soon after the separa- 
tion from his wife. I, who now act as Editor of his 
Diary, am a nephew of his, born after his death. 
Dr. Polidori figures not very advantageously in the 
books concerning Byron and Shelley. He is exhibited 
as overweening and petulant, too fond of putting 
himself forward face to face with those two heroes of 
our poetical literature, and too touchy when either of 
them declined to take him at his own estimation, I 
will allow that this judgment of Polidori is, so far as it 
goes, substantially just ; and that some of the recorded 
anecdotes of him prove him deficient in self-knowledge, 
lacking prudence and reserve, and ignoring the dis- 


tinction between a dignified and a quarrelsome 
attitude of mind. He was, in fact, extremely young 
when he went abroad in April 1816 with Byron, to 
whom he had been recommended by Sir Henry 
Halford ; he was then only twenty years of age (born 
on September 7, 1795), Byron being twenty-eight, 
and Shelley twenty-three. The recommendation 
given to so very young a man is a little surprising. 
It would be a mistake, however, to suppose that 
Polidori was without some solid attainments, and 
some considerable share of talent. He was the son 
of Gaetano Polidori, a Tuscan man of letters who, 
after being secretary to the celebrated dramatist 
Alfieri, had settled in London as a teacher of Italian, 
and of his English wife, a Miss Pierce ; the parents 
(my maternal grand-parents) survived to a great age, 
only dying in 1853. John Polidori, after receiving 
his education in the Roman Catholic College of 
Ampleforth (Yorkshire), studied medicine in Edin- 
burgh, and took his doctor's degree at a singularly 
early age — I believe almost unexampled — the age of 
nineteen. His ambition was fully as much for literary 
as for professional distinction ; and he published, 
besides The Vampyre to which I shall have to recur, 
a prose tale named Ertiestus Bercktold, a volume of 
verse containing a drama entitled Ximenes^ and some 
other writings. 


One of these writings is the text to a volume, 
published in 182 1, entitled Sketches Illustrative of the 
Manners and Costumes of France^ Switzerland^ and 
Italy, by R. Bridgens. The name of Polidori is not 
indeed recorded in this book, but I know as a 
certainty that he was the writer. One of the 
designs in the volume shows the costume of women 
at Lerici just about the time when Shelley was 
staying there, in the closing months of his life, 
and a noticeable costume it was. Polidori himself 
— though I am not aware that he ever received 
any instruction in drawing worth speaking of — had 
some considerable native gift in sketching faces and 
figures with lifelike expression ; I possess a few 
examples to prove as much. The Diary shows that 
he took some serious and intelligent interest in works 
of art, as well as in literature ; and he was clearly a 
rapid and somewhat caustic judge of character — 
perhaps a correct one. He was a fine, rather romantic- 
looking young man, as evidenced by his portrait in 
the National Portrait Gallery, accepted from me by 
that Institution in 1895. 

Dr. Polidori's life was a short one. Not long after 
quitting Lord Byron in 18 16 he returned to London, 
and in Norwich continued his medical career, but 
eventually relinquished this, and began studying for 
the Bar. It is said that Miss Harriett Martineau was 


rather in love with him in Norwich. In August 
1 82 1 he committed suicide with poison — having, 
through losses in gambling, incurred a debt of 
honour which he had no present means of clearing 
off. That he did take poison, prussic acid, was a fact 
perfectly well known in his family ; but it is curious 
to note that the easy-going and good-naturedly 
disposed coroner's jury were content to return a 
verdict without eliciting any distinct evidence as to 
the cause of death, and they simply pronounced that 
he had " died by the visitation of God." 

The matter was reported in two papers. The 
Traveller and The New Times. I possess a copy, 
made by my mother at the time, of the reports ; and 
it may perhaps be as well inserted here- 

Copied from The Traveller. 

Monday Evening \_August Tjthy 182 1]. 

Melancholy Event. — Mr. Polidori, residing in Great 
Pulteney Street, retired to rest about his usual time on 
Thursday night ; the servant, not finding him rise at 
the usual hour yesterday, went to his room between 
eleven and twelve o'clock, and found him groaning, 
and apparently in the last agonies of death. An 
alarm was given and medical aid was immediately 
called, but before the arrival of Surgeons Copeland 


and Davies, he was no more. His father was at the 
time on his journey to London to see his son, and 
arrived about three hours after the event. We under- 
stand the deceased was about twenty-six years of 
age, and had for some time accompanied Lord Byron 
in Italy. A Coroner's Inquest will sit this day to 
ascertain the cause of his death. 

Copied from The New Times. 

Tuesday {September iith, 1821]. 

Coroner's Inquest on John Polidori, Esquire. — 
An Inquisition has been taken before T. Higgs, 
Esquire, Deputy Coroner, at the residence of the 
father of the above unfortunate gentleman, in Great 
Pulteney Street, Golden Square, who was discovered 
lying on his bed in a state nearly approaching to 
death, and soon afterwards expired. 

Charlotte Reed, the servant to Mr. Gaetano Poli- 
dori, the father of the deceased, said her master's son 
lived in the house, and for some time had been 
indisposed. On Monday the 20th of August last he 
returned from Brighton, since which his conduct mani- 
fested strong symptoms of incoherence, and he gave 
his order for dinner in a very strange manner. On the 
Thursday following the deceased dined with a gentle- 
man residing in the same house, and on that occasion 


he appeared very much depressed in his spirits. 
About nine o'clock the same evening he ordered 
witness to leave a glass (tumbler) in his room ; this 
was unusual, but one was placed as he desired. 
Deceased told her he was unwell ; if therefore he did 
not get up by twelve o'clock the next day, not to 
disturb him. Witness, however, a few minutes before 
twelve, went into his room to open the shutters, and 
on her return saw the deceased lying in bed ; he was 
not in any unusual position, but seemed extremely 
ill. Witness immediately left the room, went up- 
stairs, and communicated what she had observed to a 
gentleman, who instantly came down. Witness then 
went for medical assistance. The deceased was about 
twenty-six years of age. — Mr. John Deagostini, the 
gentleman alluded to by the last witness, corroborated 
her statement on his giving him the invitation to 
dine, which he accepted in a way quite different from 
his usual conduct. Witness also observed that, some 
time since, the deceased had met with an accident — 
was thrown out of his gig, and seriously hurt in the 
head. On Thursday at dinner he spoke in half 
sentences ; the conversation was on politics and a 
future state. The deceased observed rather harshly 
that witness would see more than him ; he appeared 
to be deranged in his mind, and his countenance was 
haggard. At dinner he ate very little : soon after left 


the room, but joined again at tea ; hardly spoke a 
word, and retired at nine o'clock. After breakfast 
next morning, witness inquired of the servant whether 
Mr. Polidori had gone out. She replied no, and that 
he had desired her not to disturb him. About twelve 
o'clock the servant came to him very much alarmed. 
Witness went immediately to the apartment of the 
deceased, and observed a tumbler on the chair, which 
contained nothing but water, and did not perceive 
any deleterious substance that the deceased might 
have taken ; he was senseless, and apparently in a 
dying state. — Mr. Thomas Copeland, a surgeon 
residing in Golden Square, was sent for suddenly to 
attend the deceased, and attempted to discharge the 
contents of the stomach without effect. He lingered 
for about ten minutes, and expired. Another medical 
gentleman soon after arrived, but his assistance was 
also unavailing. — There being no further evidence 
adduced to prove how the deceased came to his 
death, the jury, under these circumstances, returned a 
verdict of — Died by the visitation of God. 

Medwin, in his Conversations witk Lord Byron^ 
gives the following account of how the poet received 
the news of Dr. Polidori's death. " I was convinced " 
(said Byron) " something very unpleasant hung over 
me last night : I expected to hear that somebody I 
knew was dead. So it turns out — poor Polidori is 


gone. When he was my physician he was always 
talking of prussic acid, oil of amber, blowing into 
veins, suffocating by charcoal, and compounding 
poisons ; but for a different purpose to what the 
Pontic monarch did, for he has prescribed a dose 
for himself that would have killed fifty Mithridates 
— a dose whose effect, Murray says, was so instan- 
taneous that he went off without a spasm or struggle. 
It seems that disappointment was the cause of this 
rash act." — The evidence of the servant at the inquest 
shows that death did not come so very suddenly ; and 
in my own family I always heard the poison spoken 
of as simply prussic acid. 

This is all that I need say at present to explain 
who Dr. Polidori was; but I must add a few words 
regarding his Diary. 

The day when the young doctor obtained the post 
of travelling physician to the famous poet and man of 
fashion. Lord Byron, about to leave England for the 
Continent, must, no doubt, have been regarded by him 
and by some of his family as a supremely auspicious 
one, although in fact it turned out the reverse. The 
article on Polidori written in The Dictionary of National 
Biography by my valued friend, the late Dr. Garnett, 
speaks of him as "physician and secretary to Lord 
Byron " ; but I never heard that he undertook or per- 
formed any secretarial work worth speaking of, and 


I decidedly believe that he did not. The same state- 
ment occurs in the inscription on his likeness in 
the National Portrait Gallery. Polidori's father had 
foreseen, in the Byronic scheme, disappointment as 
only too likely, and he opposed the project, but with- 
out success. To be the daily companion and intimate 
of so great a man as Byron, to visit foreign scenes in 
his society, to travel into his own father's native land, 
which he regarded with a feeling of enthusiasm, and 
with whose language he was naturally well acquainted, 
to be thus launched upon a career promising the 
utmost development and satisfaction to his literary as 
well as professional enterprise — all this may have 
seemed like the realization of a dream almost too 
good to be true. To crown all, Mr. Murray, Byron's 
publisher, had offered Polidori no less a sum than 
;^5oo (or 5CX) guineas) for an account of his 
forthcoming tour. Polidori therefore began to keep 
a Diary, heading it Journal of a Journey through 
Flanders etc. ^ from April 24, 1816, /<? ; 

and the blank was eventually filled in with the 
date "December 28, 1816"; it should rather stand 
" December 30." Portions of the Diary are written 
with some detail, and a perceptible aim at literary 
effect — Murray's ;^500 being manifestly in view ; in 
other instances the jottings are slight, and merely 
enough for guiding the memory. On this footing the 


Journal goes on up to June 30, 18 16. It was then 
dropped, as Polidori notes "through neglect and 
dissipation," for he saw a great deal of company. On 
September 5 he wrote up some summarized reminis- 
cences; and from September 16, the day when he 
parted company with Byron at Cologny, near Geneva, 
and proceeded to journey through Italy on his own 
account, he continued with some regularity up to 
December 30, when he was sojourning in Pisa. That 
is the latest day of which any record remains ; but it 
is known from other evidence that Dr. Polidori con- 
tinued in Italy up to April 14, 1817 : he then left 
Venice in company with the new Earl of Guilford and 
his mother — being their travelling physician. Whether 
the Journal is in any fair degree interesting or brightly 
written is a question which the reader will settle for 
himself; as a document relevant to the life of two 
illustrious poets, it certainly merits some degree of 

My own first acquaintance with the Diary of Dr. 
Polidori dates back to 1 869, when I was preparing the 
Memoir of Shelley which preludes my edition of his 
poems, published in 1870; I then availed myself of 
the Shelleian information contained in the Diary, and 
even gave two or three verbatim extracts from it. 
The MS. book was at that time the property of a 
sister of his. Miss Charlotte Lydia Polidori, a lady of 


advanced age. I regret to say that my aunt, on 
receiving the MS. back from me, took it into her 
head to read it through — a thing which I fancy she 
had never before done, or certainly had not done for 
very many years, and that she found in it some few 
passages which she held to be " improper," and, with 
the severe virtue so characteristic of an English 
maiden aunt, she determined that those passages 
should no longer exist. I can remember one about 
Byron and a chambermaid at Ostend, and another, 
later on, about Polidori himself. My aunt therefore 
took the trouble of copying out the whole Diary, 
minus the peccant passages, and she then ruthlessly 
destroyed the original MS. After her death — which 
occurred in January 1890, when she had attained the 
age of eighty-seven years — her transcript came into 
my possession. Its authority is only a shade less 
safe than that of the original, and it is from the 
transcript that I have had to work in compiling my 
present volume. 

I will now refer in some detail to the matter 
of Dr. Polidori's romantic tale, The Vampyre ; 
not only because this matter is of some literary 
interest in itself, but more especially because the 
account of it given in The Dictionary of National 
Biography treats Polidori, in this regard, with no 
indulgence, and I believe (however unintentionally on 


the part of the late Dr. Garnett) with less than 
justice. He says.: "In April 1819 he [Polidori] 
published in The New Monthly Magazine, and also in 
pamphlet- form, the celebrated story of TJu Vampyre^ 
which he attributed to Byron. The ascription was 
fictitious. Byron had in fact, in June 1816, begun to 
write at Geneva a story with this title, in emulation 
of Mrs. Shelley's Frankenstein ; but dropped it before 
reaching the superstition which it was to have illus- 
trated. He sent the fragment to Murray upon the 
appearance of Polidori's fabrication, and it is inserted 
in his works. He further protested in a carelessly 
good-natured disclaimer addressed to Galignanfs 

The facts of the case appear to be as follows. As 
we shall see in the Diary, Polidori began, near Geneva, 
a tale which (according to Mrs. Shelley) was about a 
"skull-headed lady," and he was clearly aware that 
Byron had commenced a story about a vampyre. 
After quitting Byron, Polidori, in conversation with 
the Countess of Breuss, mentioned in his Journal, 
spoke (unless we are to discredit his own account) of 
the subject of the great poet's tale ; the Countess 
questioned whether anything could be made of such 
a theme, and Polidori then tried his hand at carrying 
it out. He left the MS. with the Countess, and 
thought little or no more about it. After his depart- 


ure from that neighbourhood some person who was 
travelling there (one might perhaps infer a lady) 
obtained the MS. either from the Countess of Breuss 
or from some person acquainted with the Countess : 
this would, I suppose, be the Madame Gatelier who is 
named in the Journal along with the Countess. The 
traveller then forwarded the tale to the Publisher, 
Colburn, telling him — and this statement was printed 
by Colburn as an Extract of a Letter from Geneva — 
that certain tales were " undertaken by Lord B[yron], 
the physician [Polidori], and Miss M. W. Godwin," 
and that the writer received from her female friend 
"the outline of each of these stories." She did not say 
that the completed Vampyre was the production of 
Byron ; but Colburn inferred this, and in the 
magazine he attributed it to Byron, printing his name 
as author. 

Among the papers which were left by Dr. Polidori 
at the time of his death, and which have come into 
my possession, are the drafts of two letters of his — 
one addressed to Mr. Henry Colburn, and the other to 
the Editor of The Morning Chronicle, These letters 
were actually dispatched, and (having no sort of 
reason to suspect the contrary) I assume that they 
contain a truthful account of the facts. If so, they 
exonerate Polidori from the imputation of having 
planned or connived at a literary imposture. In his 


letter to Mr. Colburn he affirms (as will be seen) that 
the following incidents in his tale were borrowed from 
Byron's project : the departure of two friends from 
England, one of them dying in Greece [but it is in 
fact near Ephesus] after exacting from his companion 
an oath not to mention his death ; the revival of the 
dead man, and his then making love to the sister of 
his late companion. The story begun by Byron and 
published along with Mazeppa contains the incidents 
above named, except only the important incident of 
the dead man's revival and his subsequent love- 
making. Byron's extant writing, which is a mere 
fragment, affords no trace of that upshot; but 
Polidori must have known that such was the intended 
sequel. It may be added that the resemblance 
between these productions of Byron and of Polidori 
extends only to incidents : the form of narrative is 

I proceed to give the letter of Dr. Polidori to Mr. 
Colburn, followed by the letter to the Editor of The 
Morning Chronicle. This latter goes over a good deal 
of the same ground as the letter to Colburn, so I 
shorten it very considerably. 


John Polidori to Henry Colburn. 

[London], April 2 [1S19]. 


I received a copy of the magazine of last 
April (the present month), and am sorry to find that 
your Genevan correspondent has led you into a 
mistake with regard to the tale of Tke Vampyre — 
which is not Lord Byron's, but was written entirely 
by me at the request of a lady, who (upon my men- 
tioning that his Lordship had said that it was his 
intention of writing a ghost story, depending for 
interest upon the circumstances of two friends leaving 
England, and one dying in Greece, the other finding 
him alive, upon his return, and making love to his 
sister) saying that she thought it impossible to work 
up such materials, desired I would write it for her, 
which I did in two idle mornings by her side. These 
circumstances above mentioned, and the one of the 
dying man having obtained an oath that the survivor 
should not in any way disclose his decease, are the 
only parts of the tale belonging to his Lordship. I 
desire, therefore, that you will positively contradict 
your statement in the next number, by the insertion 
of this note. 

With regard to my own tale, it is imperfect and 
unfinished. I had rather therefore it should not 


appear in the magazine ; and, if the Editor had sent 
his communication, as he mentions, he would have 
been spared this mistake. 

But, sir, there is one circumstance of which I must 
request a further explanation. I observe upon the 
back of your publication the announcement of a 
separate edition. Now, upon buying this, I find 
that it states in the title-page that it was entered 
into Stationers' Hall upon March 27, consequently 
before your magazine was published. I wish there- 
fore to ask for information how this tale passed 
from the hands of your Editor into those of a 

As it is a mere trifle, I should have had no 
objection to its appearing in your magazine, as I 
could, in common with any other, have extracted it 
thence, and republished it. But I shall not sit 
patiently by and see it taken without my consent, 
and appropriated by any person. As therefore it 
must have passed through your hands (as stated 
in the magazine) from a correspondent, I shall 
expect that you will account to me for the publishers, 
Messrs. Sherwood and Neely, having possession of it 
and appropriating it to themselves ; and demand either 
that a compensation be made me, or that its separate 
publication be instantly suppressed. 

Hoping for an immediate answer, which will 


save me the trouble of obtaining an injunction, I 


Your obedient servant, 

John Polidori. 

To THE Editor of The Morning Chronicle. 


As you were the first person to whom I 
wrote to state that the tale of The Vampyre was 
not Lord Byron's, I beg you to insert the following 
statement in your paper. . . . The tale, as I stated 
to you in my letter, was written upon the foundation 
of a purposed and begun story of Lord Byron's. 
. . . Lord Byron, in a letter dated Venice, stated 
that he knew nothing of the Vampyre story, and 
hated vampyres ; but, while this letter was busily 
circulating in all the London and provincial papers, 
the fragment at the end of Mazeppa was in the 
hands of his publishers in Albemarle Street, with 
the date of June 17, 18 16, attached to it, being 
the beginning of his tale upon this very foundation. 
My development was written on the Continent, 
and left with a lady at whose request it was under- 
taken ; in the course of three mornings by her side 

it was produced, and left with her. From her 


hands, by means of a correspondent, without my 
knowledge, it came into those of the Editor of The 
New Monthly^ with a letter stating it to be an ebauche 
of Lord Byron's. Mr. Watts, as Editor of that 
magazine, stated in his notice that the tale which 
accompanies the letters " we also present to our 
readers without pledging ourselves for its authenticity 
as the production of Lord Byron " ; and he continues, 
" We should suppose it to have been committed to 
paper rather from the recital of a third person." This, 
however, after the publication of 700 copies, was 
cancelled by the p^iblisker^ and another notice in- 
serted stating it to be decidedly his Lordship's, in 
direct opposition (as I am informed) to the Editor's 
will — who has since retired from the conduct of the 

Immediately it was published I procured a copy ; 
and, upon finding that it was an almost forgotten 
trifle of my own, instantly wrote to you as Editor 
of The Morning Chronicle, stating the little share 
Lord Byron had in the work. This was upon the 
Friday evening after its publication. I at the same 
time wrote to the publishers of the tale in its separate 
form, and to those of the magazine, to stop its sale 
under his Lordship's name. On Monday the pub- 
lishers of the magazine called upon me, and promised 
it should be instantly announced as mine. . . . When 


I came to claim my share in the profits, I was offered 
£$0, instead of nearly ^^300. . . . 

Your obedient servant, 

John Polidori. 

The prefatory note to Tke Vampyre^ in The New 
Monthly Magazine, runs thus : " We received several 
private letters in the course of last autumn from a 
friend travelling on the Continent, and among others 
the following, which we give to the public on account 
of its containing anecdotes of an individual concerning 
whom the most trifling circumstances, if they tend to 
mark even the minor features of his mind, cannot fail 
of being considered important and valuable by those 
who know how to appreciate his erratic but tran- 
scendent genius. The tale which accompanied the 
letter we have also much pleasure in presenting to 
our readers. — Ed." There is also a final note thus : 

" We have in our possession the tale of Dr. , as 

well as the outline of that of Miss Godwin. The latter 
has already appeared under the title of Frankenstein, 
or The Modem Prometheus. The former, however, 
upon consulting with its author, we may probably 
hereafter give to our readers. — Ed." 

Two questions arise as to that prefatory note : 
(i) Did the Editor really write it, or did the Publisher 
Colburn write it ? (2) Is the averment true or false 


that the Editor (or the Publisher) had received in the 
course of the preceding autumn "several private 
letters" from the same person who had now for- 
warded a letter enclosing The Vampyre ? 

Murray wrote to Lord Byron on April 27, 18 19. 
He speaks of the publication of The Vampyre in The 
New Monthly Magazine, ^.nA afterwards in book-form, 
and proceeds: "The Editor of that journal has 
quarrelled with the Publisher, and has called this 
morning to exculpate himself from the baseness of 
the transaction. He says that he received it from 
Dr. Polidori for a small sum ; Polidori averring that 
the whole plan of it was yours, and that it was 
merely written out by him. The Editor inserted it 
with a short statement to this effect ; but, to his 
astonishment, Colburn cancelled the leaf . . . He 
informs me that Polidori, finding that the sale ex- 
ceeded his expectation and that he had sold it too 
cheap, went to the Editor and declared that he would 
deny it." 

This statement by Murray makes it probable that 
the paragraph purporting to come from the Editor, 
or some substantial part of it, really emanated from 
the Publisher, and the same is definitely asserted in 
Polidori's letter to The Morning Chronicle; but 
Murray's letter does not settle the question whether 
the allegation about a traveller at Geneva was true 


or false. The Editor's assertion that " he received it 
from Dr. Polidori for a small sum " does not by any 
means clear up all the facts. It seems quite possible 
that there really was a correspondent at Geneva who 
sent to the Editor the MS. of The Vampyre, along 
with that of Polidori's other tale, and an outline of 
Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, as expressly affirmed in 
the final note signed " Ed." ; and that the Editor, 
having no right to publish The Vampyre unless by 
authority of its writer, spoke to Polidori about it. 
How could Polidori dispose of it " for a small sum " 
if he alleged that it was written by Byron, or by any 
one other than himself? He averred " that the whole 
plan of it was " Byron's — and this is apparently true ; 
adding "that it was merely written out by" himself — 
in the sense not of having written from Byron's 
dictation, but of having composed a story founded 
upon Byron's intended incidents. Murray's final 
phrase — that Polidori " went to the Editor, and de- 
clared that he would deny it " — is loosely expressed, 
but seems to mean that he would deny Byron's 
authorship of The Vampyre — and so in fact he did. 

If we suppose (as did Murray apparently) that 
Polidori had in the first instance planned a deliberate 
imposture, and had palmed off upon the Editor The 
Vampyre as being virtually the writing of Byron, we 
are encountered by three difficulties left unexplained : 


( I ) What plea could Polidori advance for having the MS. 
and the right of publishing it ? (2) Why did he sell for 
" a small sum " a work which, if written by the world- 
famous Lord Byron, would be worth a very consider- 
able sum ? (3) Why did the Editor pay to Polidori a 
sum, whether small or large, for a book which, accord- 
ing to this assumption, was avowedly not the writing 
of himself, but the writing and property of Byron ? 
All these difficulties are avoided, and no other serious 
difficulties arise, if we assume that the account given 
by Polidori is the true one, viz. that he offered the 
tale to the Editor as being his own composition, 
strictly modelled upon a series of incidents invented 
by Byron. 

Polidori's letter, addressed to the Editor of The 
Morning Chronicle, was, as I have already said, 
delivered to the office of that paper. It was not 
however published there, as Messrs. Sherwood, Neely, 
and Jones, the publishers of The Vampyre in its book- 
form, represented to Polidori that the appearance of 
such a letter would tend to compromise them, and he 
therefore, out of consideration for this firm, withdrew 
the letter unprinted. This is Polidori's own state- 
ment, contained in the Introduction to another 
romantic tale of his, Emestus Berchtold, published in 
1 8 19; being the tale by Polidori which, as stated by 
the Editor of The New Monthly Magazine^ had been 


sent to him along with The Vampyre and the outline 
of Frankenstein. Besides all this, the Doctor wrote a 
brief letter, published in The Courier on May 5, 18 19, 
saying — what was clearly the fact — "Though the 
groundwork is certainly Lord Byron's, its development 
is mine." 

I must now revert for a moment to the " skull- 
headed lady." In the Introduction above named 
Polidori asserts that that tale, Emestus Berchtold, was 
the one which he began at Cologny. It does not 
contain any sort of mention of any skull-headed lady. 
There is some supernatural machinery in the story, of 
a rather futile kind ; it could be excluded without 
affecting the real basis of the narrative, which relates 
the love-affair and marriage of a young Swiss patriot 
with a lady who is ultimately identified as his sister. 
As to Mrs. Shelley's allegation that the (non-existent) 
skull-headed lady was punished for " peeping through 
a keyhole," no such incident exists in Emestus 
Berchtold; there is, however, a passage where a certain 
Julia seeks to solve a mystery by looking " through 
the wainscot of a closet for wood." Her head, after 
this inspection, remains exactly what it was before. 

The Vampyre was in its way a great success. As 
stated in The Dictionary of National Biography^ 
Byron's name gave Polidori's production great cele- 
brity on the Continent, where The Vampyre was 


held to be quite the thing which it behoved Byron 
to have written. It formed the groundwork of 
Marschner's opera, and nearly half a volume of 
Dumas's Memoirs is occupied by an account of the 
representation of a French play founded upon it. 


1816. April 2\. — I left London at 10 in the morn 
ing, with Lord Byron, Scrope Davies, Esq., and 
J. Hobhouse, Esq. 

[Mr. Scrope Berdmore Davies had been one of 
Byron's fellow-students and intimates at Cambridge 
University, and had continued familiar with him 
at Newstead Abbey and elsewhere. He has been 
described as "no less remarkable for elegance of 
taste than for a generous high-mindedness," Mr. 
John Cam Hobhouse (afterwards Sir J. C. Hob- 
house, and ultimately Lord Broughton de Gifford) 
was, it need hardly be said, a peculiarly close friend 
of Byron. He had accompanied him in his travels 
in Greece prior to the commencement of Childe 
Harold, wrote notes to that poem, and to the 
last upheld the essential fineness of his Lordship's 
character. Byron's intention to travel along with 
Hobhouse in the spring of 18 16 was not a new 
project conceived in consequence of his separation, 
only completed on April 22, from his wife. He had 
entertained this scheme before his daughter Ada was 



born on December lo, 1815, and had announced it 
to his wife, to whom the notion was not agreeable.] 

The view from Shooter's Hill was extensive and 
beautiful, being on a much larger scale than the view 
from Stirling. 

[Polidori mentions Stirling, as being no doubt a 
reminiscence of his own, from the days when he had 
been in Edinburgh to take his medical degree.] 

The plain, enamelled with various colours accord- 
ing to the different growth of the corn, spread far 
before our sight, was divided irregularly by the river. 
The Thames next, with its majestic waves, flowed in 
the plain below, bearing numerous fleets upon its 
flood. Its banks in many parts were beautiful. The 
chalky banks were alternated with the swelling hills, 
rising from the waves, of the pleasing green-brown, 
the effect of the first dawn of spring on the vegetable 

At Canterbury we saw the Cathedral. I know not 
how it was, whether my mind had been prepared by 
the previous sight of glorious nature to receive 
pleasing impressions, but the spot where the high 
altar and Thomas a Becket's tomb stood seemed to 
me one of the most beautiful effects that I had ever 
seen arising from Saxo-Gothic architecture; for, 
though it had not all the ^airiness and awe-inspiring 
height that I had seen in other cathedrals, yet its 


simple beauty pleased me more than anything I had 
yet seen. 

Remounting, we soon arrived at Dover, where we 
slept, when the packet-boat captain had sufficiently 
disturbed us. 

April 25. — This day was spent at Dover The 
greater part was occupied in procuring what had 
been neglected in London, and in seeing the carriage 
well packed up. After dinner, however, we went in 
search of Churchill's tomb, raised, we had learned, to 
his memory by his friend Wilkes. Arrived at the 
house of the sexton, he led us to a ruined church, 
passing through which we came into a churchyard, 
where children, heedless and unconscious of what 
they trampled on, sportively ran amid the raised turf 
graves. He pointed out to us a tombstone, un- 
distinguished from those of the tradesmen near him, 
having merely, like them, a square tablet stuck into 
the ground, whereon was written, " Here lie the 
remains of the celebrated Churchill. 

" Life to the last enjoyed, here Churchill lies. 


[By Churchill.] The green turf was beginning already 
to decay upon his tomb, which when the sexton heard 
us lamenting he assured us that his grave, as well as 
the rest, would be newly decked as soon as Nature 


had vested its fullest green — for that was an old custom. 
Churchill owed, then, only to a common hand what 
the pride of a friend refused — the safety of his burial- 
place. Wilkes only sought the gratification of his 
vanity. While he consigned his friend's last relics to 
the keeping of a tablet, he consigned his own pride in 
such a friend to the keeping of a column in his own 
grounds. Yet I do not know whether the scene was 
not more moving, though no vainly pompous inscrip- 
tion pointed out the spot where this poet was buried. 

There were two authors ; one, the most distin- 
guished of his age ; another, whose name is rising 
rapidly ; (and a third, ambitious for literary dis- 
tinction). What a lesson it was for them when, 
having asked the sexton if he knew why so many 
came to see this tomb, he said : " I cannot tell ; I had 
not the burying of him." 

[Byron, after settling in the Villa Diodati near 
Geneva, recorded this same incident in a composition 
entitled ChurchilVs Grave, a Fact Literally Rendered. 
He wrote a memorandum to say that in this poem he 
had intentionally imitated the style of Wordsworth, 
"its beauties and its defects." The composition 
therefore is essentially un-Byronic in method, and 
perhaps Wordsworth would not have recognized in 
it many of his own "beauties." The Hues are as 
follows — 


I stood beside the grave of him who blazed 

The comet of a season, and I saw 
The humblest of all sepulchres, and gazed 

With not the less of sorrow and of awe 
On that neglected turf and quiet stone, 
With name no clearer than the names unknown 
Which lay unread around it. And I ask'd 

The gardener of that ground why it might be 
That for this plant strangers his memory task'd, 

Through the thick deaths of half a century. 
And thus he answered : ' Well, I do not know 
Why frequent travellers turn to pilgrims so : 
He died before my day of sextonship, 

And I had not the digging of this grave.' 
And is this all? I thought; and do we rip 

The veil of immortality, and crave 
I know not what of honour and of light 
Through unborn ages, to endure this blight 
So soon and so successless ? As I said. 
The architect of all on which we tread 
(For earth is but a tombstone) did essay 
To extricate remembrance from the clay 
Whose minglings might confuse a Newton's thought. 

Were it not that all life must end in one, 
Of which we are but dreamers. As he caught 

As 'twere the twilight of a former sun, 
Thus spoke he : ' I believe the man of whom 
You wot, who lies in this selected tomb. 
Was a most famous writer in his day; 
And therefore travellers step from out their way 
To pay him honour ; — and myself whate'er 
Your honour pleases.' Then most pleased I shook 
From out my pocket's avaricious nook 
Some certain coins of silver, which (as 'twere 
Perforce) I gave this man— though I could spare 
So much but inconveniently. Ye smile 
(I see ye, ye profane ones, all the while) 


Because my homely phrase the truth would tell. 
You are the fools, not I ; for I did dwell 
With a deep thought and with a softened eye 
On that old sexton's natural homily, 
In which there was obscurity and fame — 
The glory and the nothing of a name." 

Charles Churchill the satirist, a clergyman who 
had given up his standing in the Church, had 
died in 1764 at Boulogne, aged only thirty-three. 
It is clear that his renown was still considerable 
in 1 8 16; it is now barely more than a literary 

We then returned home, where, having delivered 
my play into their hands, I had to hear it laughed at 
— (an author has always a salvo) partly, I think, 
from the way in which it was read. One of the party, 
however — to smoothe, I suppose, my ruffled spirits — 
took up my play, and apparently read part with 
great attention, drawing applause from those who 
before had laughed. He read on with so much 
attention that the others declared he had never been 
so attentive before. 

[Further on it would appear that this play was 
named Cajetan. I know nothing about it. The name 
Cajetan is in Italian Gaetano, which was the Christian 
name of Polidori's father.] 

I afterwards went out, and did a very absurd thing, 
which I told ; and found I had not only hurt myself 


but might possibly hurt others for whom I cared 
much more. 

April 26. — We embarked at 9 o'clock, much 
hurried, with three servants. 

[This means, to judge from a published letter by- 
Byron, 9 o'clock on the evening of April 25. The 
three servants were Berger (a Swiss), William 
Fletcher, and Robert Rushton. Mr. Davies and Mr. 
Hobhouse, it will be understood, remained ashore.] 

When at a distance, we waved our hands and hats, 
bidding adieu. The wind was completely in our 
teeth, but we made the passage in sixteen hours. 
The coast of Dover is very striking, though miserably 
barren-looking. The cliff is steep, though not such 
as Shakespear paints. The castle — at a distance, 
which is the only way I viewed it — is miserable. 
Sailing from England, I for a long time kept my eye 
upon its stern white cliffs, thinking on her who bade 
me join her remembrance with the last sight of my 
native soil. 

[This points pretty clearly to a love-passage, perhaps 
a matrimonial engagement. As a fact Polidori never 
married. The lady may possibly have been Eliza 
Arrow, a relative in India, with whom he, at a rather 
earlier date, had interchanged various letters.] 

They at last faded from my sight, and all on board 
looked dreary ; the sea dashed over us, and all wore 


an aspect of grief. Towards night a most beautiful 
spectacle was seen by myself, who alone remained on 
deck. The stars shedding merely a twilight enabled 
me to see the phosphoric light of the broken foam in 
all its splendour. But the most beautiful moment was 
that of its first appearance : no sound around save the 
sullen rushing of the vessel, and the hoarse cries of 
the heaving sailor ; no light save a melancholy 
twilight, which soothed the mind into forgetfulness of 
its grief for a while — a beautiful streak following the 
lead through the waves. We arrived at Ostend at 
2 o'clock in the morning. 

[Polidori's chronology is a little confusing here. If 
the party left Dover at 9 p.m. on April 25, and 
took sixteen hours in the sea-passage, they must have 
reached Ostend at i in the afternoon. There is also 
a confusion immediately afterwards, for he repeats 
the date for which he has already accounted, viz.] 

April 26. — We passed through the gates, paying 
a franc a head, and went to the Cour Imp^riale. We 
were astonished at the excellent inn and good treat- 
ment, except that I got a dreadful headache from 
the smell of paint in my bedroom, and that the tea 
was perfumed. 

[It was, I believe, at this point of the narrative that 
my aunt Charlotte Polidori cut out a peccant passage. 
I seem to remember the precise diction of it, which 


was this : " As soon as he reached his room, Lord 
Byron fell like a thunderbolt upon the chambermaid." 
Such at any rate was the substance of the statement. 
The other statement which my aunt excluded came 
somewhat further on, when Dr. Polidori was staying 
near Geneva. He gave some account of a visit of his 
to some haunt of the local Venus Pandemos. I think 
the police took some notice of it. The performance 
was not decorous, but was related without any verbal 

Arising in the morning, I went upon a stroll round 
the town. Saw little girls of all ages with head- 
dresses ; books in every bookseller's window of the 
most obscene nature ; women with wooden shoes ; 
men of low rank basking in the sun as if that would 
evaporate their idleness. The houses generally good 
old style, very like a Scotch town, only not quite so 
filthy. Very polite custom-house officers, and very 
civil waiters. Fine room painted as a panorama, all 
French-attitudinized. Went into a shop where no one 
spoke French. Tried German ; half-a-dozen women 
burst out laughing at me. Luckily for myself, in a 
good humour ; laughed with them. Obliged to buy 
two books I did not want, because I let a quarto fall 
upon a fine girl's head while looking at her eyes. 
Coaches of the most horrid construction ; apparently 
some fine horses, others small. Fortifications look 


miserable. Once stood a fine siege, when 40,000 on one 
side and 80 on the other fed fowls and manured the 
fields. What for? For religion? No — for money. 
There was the spring of all. As long as only religion 
and rights were affected, bigoted religionists and wild 
republicans were alone concerned ; but a step too far, 
and all was ruined. 

[The allusion here is to the great siege of Ostend, 
1 60 1 to 1604.] 

We set off at 3, with four horses. Postillion with 
boots to his hips, nankeens, leather hat with quaker 
brim, only neatly rounded with black riband ; a blue 
and red coat, joined to which a most rascally face, with 
lips that went a few lines beyond the brijn of his hat. 
A dreadful smacker of his whip, and a driver of four 
horses from the back of one of the hindermost. We 
were obliged to hire a caleche to send with our lug- 
gage. The rascal made us pay three times too much 
at each of his barriers ; but, after having (on account 
of the horses not being ready at the next post) gone 
beyond his beat, he allowed the toll-keepers to be 
honest, and only take a few centimes instead of a 
franc. The country very flat, highly cultivated ; sand, 
no waste. Roads paved in the middle, with trees on 
each side. Country, from the interspersion of houses, 
spires, cottages, etc., delightful ; everything comfort- 
able, no appearance of discontent. 


We got out of our carriage at a place where the 
horses ate bread and hay, and walked on to a church- 
yard, where we found no tombstones, no funeral-pomp, 
no flattering eulogy, but simply a wooden cross at 
each grave's head and foot. On the side of the church- 
steeple, at a little height, was made a niche wherein 
statues formed a crucifixion, as an object to excite 
reverence and adoration of God in every passenger. 
We passed on, and arrived at Bruges at the fall of 
the evening. Our passports were dispensed with on 
our mentioning that we were not stopping. We 
entered one of the most beautiful towns I ever saw ; 
every house seemed substantial — had some ornament 
either of fretwork or lines — all seem clean and neat. 
We stopped at the post. We were shown into the 
postmaster's parlour on our asking for something to 
eat — well furnished — better even than a common 
middleman's house in London. N.B. — Everywhere 
6 francs for a bottle of Rhenish. Women generally 
pretty. Flemish face has no divinity — all pleasing 
more than beautiful — a sparkling eye in a full round. 
Their pictures of every age have the mark of their 

As we went from Bruges, twilight softened all the 
beauty, and I do not know how to describe the feel- 
ing of pleasure we felt in going through its long roof- 
fretted streets, bursting on to spots where people were 


promenading amidst short avenues of trees. We 
passed on. At the gates I saw a boy with sand in 
his hand let it through his fingers laughingly, heed- 
less of the myriads whose life hung upon each sand. 
We passed on at lo. We came to a village where we 
heard the sound of music. The innkeeper, on our 
enquiring what it was, asked us politely in to hear a 
concert of amateurs. We descended, and were grati- 
fied and surprised at hearing, in a village of 5000 souls, 
a full band playing difficult though beautiful music. 
One march particularly struck us. But what was 
our surprise, when the door opened, to view the 
group : none apparently above the rank of labourers, 
yet they met three times a week. In our country the 
amusement is to reel drunk as many. There was 
one figure manifestly consumptive, yet he was blowing 
an enormous trombone. 

Within a few miles of Gand, I was wakened from 
a pleasant fireside in England by my companion say- 
ing *• They have lost their way " ; and, seeing a house 
near me, I jumped out to enquire, when to my great 
fear I saw it was deserted. I immediately suspected 
something, and went back for a pistol, and then 
thundered at the door ; no one came. Looking 
round, I saw other houses ; towards which upon my 
moving the postillion got off, and, telling me in 
French, as a consolation, that he could not under- 


stand it, went with me towards a house where there 
was light, and suddenly ran off. I immediately went 
to the carriage, and we gave sabres to the servants ; 
when he ran back from out of sight, and knocked 
again at the door and roused two, who told us the 
way. By the by, we had crossed several times the 
bridge, and from the road and back again, whereas 
we had nothing to do but to go straight on, instead of 
which he crossed over and was going back in the 
direction of Bruges, when our servant stopped him. 
I cannot explain his conduct ; he was dreadfully 

We arrived at Ghent at 3 in the morning, and 
knocked some time at the gates, but at last, by means 
of a few francs, got through — passports not asked for. 
Got to the Hotel des Pays Bas, where Count Artois 
resided while at Ghent. We were ushered into a 
splendid room, got excellent Rhenish, butter, cheese, 
etc., and went to bed. 

April 27. — At Gand Charles the 1st of Spain was 
born. It was here he really showed the insufficiency of 
ambition and all the joys of manhood. After having 
at Brussels resigned to Philip his extensive dominions, 
he came here, and enjoyed many days while passing 
over the scenes of his youth, which neither the splen- 
dour attached to a European or an Indian crown nor 
to the conquests of his powerful and noble views could 


efface. He did not seek Pavia ; no, it was at Gand 
that he sought for his last draught of worldly joy. 
The town was worthy of it, if beauty and antiquity, if 
riches and liberty with all their train, could render it 
worthy of him. This town has all the beauty ot 
Bruges, but more extensive : finer houses perhaps, 
fine cathedral, fine paintings, fine streets, fine canal. 
The streets are perhaps the finest I have seen ; not so 
unpleasantly regular as London, not so high, but more 
rich in outside. 

We visited the Cathedral ; and, after having been 
accustomed to the tinselly ornaments of our Catholic 
chapels, and the complete want of any in the Scotch 
and English churches, we were much pleased with the 
Cathedral's inside dress : paintings that were by the 
hand of masters ; the fortune of a bishop expended 
in building the part near the altar in marble and 
statues not contemptible, united with the airy, high 
fretted roof and little light, impressive of awe. Under 
this Cathedral is the first Belgian church that was 
built in the reign of Charlemagne, 800 years, I think, 
after Christ. It is low-roofed, but so strong it bears 
the weight of the Cathedral upon it. There were 
several paintings preserved in it (before the date of 
oil-painting), where the colours are mixed with white 
of egg. Some curious tombs, where the different 
styles are evident. In the earliest tomb some of the 


draperies on the relief are in a bold fine style. One 
of the earliest has a bishop, where all his robes are 
carved out, with almost the threads of his vest. 
Others, however, are for general effect. We mounted 
450 steps to the top of the steeple; whence we saw 
a complete horizon of plain, canals, intersecting trees, 
and houses and steeples thrown here and there, with 
Gand below at our feet. The sea at a distance, bound 
by the hands of man, which pointed " So far shall ye 
go and no farther." Bruges held in the horizon its 
steeples to our view, and many hamlets raised from 
out their surrounding wood their single spires to 

Treading again the iron-plated 450 stairs, we came 
into the street ; and, mounting into a fiacre, we went 
to the Ecole de Dessin, where we found a well-provided 
gallery of paintings, with two students, unmoved by 
the visitors around, painting with the patience if not 
the genius of Dutch masters. They were rather a 
nuisance on the present occasion, as one covered with 
his machine a chef d'oeuvre of Rubens, the St. Rock 
amongst the Sick of the Plague. There were two more 
by the same, of St. Roch and his Dog, etc. They 
were in a different style of colouring — sombre and 
grey ; none of his gay draperies that I, no connoisseur, 
thought were constituents of Rubens. I saw — I do not 
remember whose, but — a picture that struck me much, 


The Beheading of St. Jean^ where all the interest and 

beauty consisted in a dog smelling the dead body. 

There were two of Van Eyck, the first (according to 

the Flemish) who invented painting in oil ; where the 

colouring was splendid and very like the stiffness of 

glass, but the faces were very good. Kruger had 

many here in honour of Charles the Vth. Amongst 

the others, one rather (though probably not meant as 

such) satirical : Charles, landing, takes hold of Dame 

Africa, who quietly points to a lion at her feet. Query 

— to drive him away ? There was a Judgment of 

Solomon by the same, where the child was painted 

dead with most perfect nature ; so much so that my 

companion, who is a father, could not bear its sight. 

Teniers has here a Temptation of St. Anthony : strange 

caricature — what a satire ! If mere deceit is the acme 

of perfection, some Dutchmen may snatch the palm 

from either Apelles or Parrhasius. They paint boards 

with an engraving upon them, or a door,^ or aught 

else, so inimitably that it deceived my friend. We 

went into the Academy of Casts, of Design, etc. 

There are generally 400 pupils in this town : many 

fall off annually without great advancement, and are 

trod on the heels by others. 

1 The word, as written by Charlotte Polidori, seems to be 
" dole " rather than anything else. It looks as if she had copied 
the form of Dr. Polidori's word without understanding what it 
was, I substitute " door," but this is done faute de mieux, 


We thence proceeded to another (we might say) 
cathedral. The steeple is not yet finished : the model 
is exhibited, with the curses of the Flemish exhibitors 
upon the "grande nation " for having taken the funds 
for its finishing. There are more good pictures than 
even in the Cathedral : the columns also please me 
more, being round, with a Gothic approach to Corinth- 
ian capital. The most beautiful painting I have yet 
seen is here (though I probably shall not be held out 
in my opinion by connoisseurs) — by Pollent, repre- 
senting the trial of the true Cross upon a sick lady. 
The harmony of colouring, the soberness (without 
the commonly accompanying dulness) of the colour- 
ing, the good design and grouping, are, in my 
opinion, beautiful. Not even the splendid colouring 
of Rubens can make his pictures, in my eyes, equal 
to it. 

[I do not know who is the painter termed Pollent 
by Polidori : on p. 50 there is the name Polenck, 
which may designate the same painter. Neither of 
these names can be traced by me in a catalogue of 
pictures in the Museum of Antwerp.] 

There is one standing by it, of Vandyck, which has 
some sublimity in it, perhaps arising from indistinct- 
ness. It represents the effect of Christ's last sigh. By 
this altar stood twelve small pictures, hung out at this 
time for people to tread the " way of Calvary," repre- 


senting the different stages of our Saviour's sufferings. 
There were many more pictures, but I cannot re- 
member ; seeing so many crowded in the Gallery put 
others out of my head. But there were painted in the 
Cathedral of St. Bavon, on the marble in the style 
of reliefs, different subjects of Scripture in a most 
masterly style ; and so well were the shades managed 
that we could hardly believe the cicerone when he 
assured us they were paintings. 

In the Gallery of Casts there were the statues of 
two English ladies of London by an artist who resided 
thirty years there, and upon his return bestowed these 
as his finest works. The faces, though not perfect or 
Grecian, I must say for my countrywomen, pleased 
me almost as much as any Venus de' Medici. 

I have found the people polite, so far as showing 
the way and then not waiting for a reward — taking 
off their hats as if^ou had done them the favour. 

April 28. — We set off at 8 this morning to go to 
Anvers ; but, after having proceeded some way, one 
of the wheels refused to turn, and, after at the next 
village hammering a long while, I rode off in a passing 
caleche to Ghent, where I put a marechal with his 
assistant into a voiture, and, mounting myself on 
horseback, returned to the coach. My horse was par- 
ticularly fond of the shade ; and, a house being near 
one of the barriers, he kindly stopped there to cool 


me. I, after waiting some time, began to press him 
to go forward, when he kicked etc. We went, while 
the carriage was being repaired, into a cottage, where 
all was extremely neat, and we saw two pictures in 
it that certainly would not shame the collection of 
many of our soi-disant cognoscenti. The old man 
was sick of a fever ; and, upon giving him medicine, 
his kind half sympathetically fell ill of a toothache. 
Never did I see such chips of the old block as his two 
daughters. They were very kind. It being Sunday, 
we saw all the women of the village — all ugly : indeed, 
I have not seen a pretty woman since I left Ostend. 

[This reference to April 28 as being a Sunday puts 
a stop to any preceding question as to the right day 
of the month, for in fact April 28, 18 16, was a Sunday.] 

On proceeding on our journey, we were stopped for 
oul: passports, and the fellow began bullying us, think- 
ing we were French ; but, when he heard we were 
English, he became cap in hand, and let us go : in- 
deed, we have not yet shown our passports. 

Having eaten, I issued forth in search of the Pro- 
menade, and found the canal with walks called La 
Copeure. Many ladies, all ugly without exception — 
the only pretty woman being fat and sixty. It very 
much resembled the Green Basin, where our West-end 
cits trot on one another's heels with all possible care : 
not quite so crowded. Coming back, I tourized to the 


Roi d'Espagne, where, as in a coffee-house, I found 
a room full of disreputable women and card-tables. 
This, instead of the streets, is the lounge for such 
women. I went to the Cafe Grand, where by means 
of mirrors some excellent effects are produced. 
There also were billiards, cards, dice, etc. A cup of 
coffee, some centimes ; a glass of lemonade, two sous : 
a woman presides at the end of the room. 

" Lord Byron " was in the Ghent Gazette. Lord 
Byron encouraged me to write Cajetan, and to con- 
tinue being a tragedian. Murray offered i^iSO for 
two plays, and ;^500 for my tour. 

April 29. — Looking from my window, I saw a 
native dashing about in a barouche and four. There 
is in the town a society of nobles, and another of 
literati. Mr. Scamp has a fine collection of pictures, 
which I did not see. In Ghent, as well as in all other 
places where I have been, the barber's sign is Mam- 
brino's helm. On the Sunday mornings there is a 
market for flowers in pot in the Place des Armes. 

We set off at 11 in the morning, and passed 
through some fine villages : one of which, St. 
Nicholas, the mistress of the inn told me Buonaparte 
made into a town — " mais il n'y a pas des postes." 
The country is tiresomely beautiful. Fine avenues, 
which make us yawn with admiration ; not a single 
variation; no rising ground — yes, one spot raised 


for a windmill. The landscape is as unchangeable 
as the Flemish face. The houses white-washed, 
with a row of trees before them ; the roofs tiled, and 
the windows large. Indeed, the appearance of com- 
fort in the places we have passed through is much 
greater than any I have seen in England. We 
have only seen one country-villa, and that very Eng- 
lish : its pasture had the only firs we have yet seen. 
The avenues are sometimes terminated by a church 
or a house — the church very ugly; and both very 
tiresome, as they always prove much farther off than 
is at first expected. The ground cultivated, and with- 
out a weed — no waste ground. The plough moves as 
if cutting water, the soil is so light a sand. Women 
work in the fields as well as men. No more difference 
is found in the face of the inhabitants than in the face 
of the country. Nothing striking, all evenness, no 
genius, much stupidity. They seemed to spend all 
their fund of cleanliness upon their fields and houses, 
for they carry none about them. 

An oldish man wears a three-cornered cocked hat, 
capacious breeches, black or blue stockings, buckles, 
and a great-coat ; young, fancy travelling-caps. The 
women wear enormous gold ear-rings, large wooden 
shoes. Their dress is a kind of bed-gown, like the 
Scotch. Young girls of eight in town have their hair 
dressed with a net or cap. In towns and villages 


the better peasant-women wear a black silk mantle 
with a hood, that looks well. Multitudes of children 
everywhere, who tumble and run by the side of the 
carriage to gain a few centimes. In the larger villages 
the market-places are splendidly large, with a little 
square place in the middle, with pollards and a statue. 
The houses seem comfortable everywhere. Going 
into the house of a postmaster, we saw some English 
prints. At another, our servants having got down 
and comfortably seated themselves to a bottle of 
wine etc., the postmistress, on our getting out, took 
us for the servants, and told us " the messieurs Anglais 
were in yon room " — and then made us a thousand 
apologies. At every posthorse place there is kept 
a book of the posts : many barriers — every \\ mile. 

At Gand they had told us we could not reach 
Anvers without passing the Scheldt at 2 o'clock — 
we passed it at 6|. 

The town of Antwerp makes a good figure at a 
distance, chiefly on account of its Cathedral, which 
has a very airy appearance, the steeple showing the 
sky between its meeting arches. About five steeples. 
The fortifications, which enabled Carnot to make such 
a defence, produce no great effect on the sight. 

[The defence by Carnot was, when Polidori wrote, 
a quite recent event, 1814.] 

The Scheldt is a fine river, not so large as our 


Thames, and covered with ugly Dutch vessels. We 
passed our coach in a boat. 

[This coach was a formidable affair. According 
to Mr. Pryse Lockhart Gordon, it was "copied from 
the celebrated one of Napoleon taken at Genappe, 
with additions. Besides a lit de repos, it contained a 
library, a plate-chest, and every apparatus for dining."] 

On landing, twenty porters ran off with our things 
to a cart. As they were passing, one in all the pomp 
of office stopped us, and asked for our passports, which 
(on handing to him) he detained, giving his directions 
to the police. 

The older parts of Antwerp have a novel and 
strange effect by the gable-ends being all to the 
street, ornamented — very acute angles. The Place de 
Meer is fine. The old street, the finest I ever saw, 
has some fine houses. Many of the houses have 
English labels on them. In our sitting-room are two 
beds. Indeed, the towns are beautiful : their long 
streets, their houses all clean-stuccoed or white- 
washed, with strange old-fashioned fronts, the frequent 
canals, the large places and venerable cathedrals. 
Their places are much finer than our squares, for they 
contain trees, and are open without railing. 

Went to the caf^, and saw all playing at dominoes. 
Read The Times till the 23rd. Fine furniture, every- 
where of cherry-tree. 


At Gand in the Cathedral the cicerone laid great 
stress on the choir-seats being all made of solid acajou. 
The master of the inn at Ghent assures me the 
carriage of Buonaparte was made in Paris — the body- 
carriage at Brussels : no English work. Plenty of 
Americans in the town. 

April 30. — Got up late, and went to look at the 
carriage, and found that the back had been not of the 
best-made. Called a mardchal, who assured me it 
could not be better. Breakfasted. Then looked at 
an old caleche, for which asked 60 naps. Refused it. 

Got, with a guide, a caleche to see the lions. The 
town is large : apparently, not a proportionable 
quantity of misery. Women better-looking. At all 
the fountains. Madonnas — and upon all the corners 
of the streets, with lamps before them. Lamps with 
reverberators strung on ropes into the middle of the 
streets. Went to the Cathedral. Everywhere we 
have been, dreadful complaints of French vandalism. 
In this chapel it has been shameless : once crowded 
with altars of marble, now there are about five — only 
two marble, the others painted in imitation. Pictures 
were stolen — altars sold by auction — only one saved, 
bought by a barber for a louis. The others, with all 
the tombs, monuments, everything, broken by these 
encouragers of the fine arts. So great was the ruin 
that there were five feet of fragments over the church 


— even the columns that support the roof were so 
much defaced that they were obliged, in restoring it, 
to pare them all much thinner. Some pictures were 
carried to Paris, of which some are now about to be 
replaced. It was the feast of St. Anthony, and many 
candles were burning about, and some relics were 
fixed above the doors. In many parts of the chapel 
were frames containing silver representations, very 
small, of bad limbs etc., offered by the devout. Many 
images over altars, dressed out in silk and taffeta : 
most common one, the Virgin Mary. Though the 
French acted with all the spirit of Vandals and true 
Gauls, yet to their very mischief is owing the greatest 
beauty of the Cathedral, the choir not being divided 
from the church, so that from one end to the other 
there is a complete perspective and one of the finest 
effects I have seen, the airiness and length being now 
proportionate. There is one great defect in the internal 
decorations — that they are Greek. What bad taste 
it is to ornament Gothic with Corinthian columns 
must be evident : to make it also more glaring, the 
marble is all coloured. There is here a fine marble 
altar-railing. Indeed, in all the churches we have 
here seen they are beautiful — especially where boys, 
called in Italian " puttini," are sculptured. The con- 
fessionals are of wood, with evangelical figures, nearly 
as large as life, between each box — not badly carved. 


We went to see another church, wherein is the 
tomb of Rubens. 

[This is the Church of St. Jaques.] 

It is in a chapel by itself, where annually a mass 
is said for his soul. It is worthy of him : ornamented 
by a painting, by himself, of St. George, and a statue 
he brought with him from Rome of the Holy Virgin. 
The church in which he is buried was saved from 
pillage by the priests belonging to it revolutionizing. 
It is crowded with altars and pictures — some Rubens, 
some Polenck, and others. There is a painting by 
Metsys, who originally was a marechal, and who with 
his mere hammer formed the decorations to a pump, 
which are not bad. The Latin inscription on his 
monumental stone refers to a story related of him : 
that, upon courting the daughter of Francis Floris, 
the artist with indignation talked about the dirty 
rascal's impudence, he being merely a blacksmith ; 
on which Metsys set off for Rome, and upon his 
return asked the daughter to introduce him to her 
father's room of painting : where, finding a picture 
not finished, he painted a bee — that excited the in- 
dignation of Floris's pocket-handkerchief, and gained 
him his daughter. I have seen the picture, and it 
might be true. The pump is not bad, being merely 
beaten into shape. On the top is a giant who used 
to cut off merchants' gains by means of tolls, and 


their hands by means of axes. He used to throw an 
iron band into the scales of his tradesmen ; and from 
thence, 'tis said, Antwerp got its name. 

[This may be " said " : but a less legendary deriva- 
tion of the Flemish name Antwerpen is " aent werf," 
or " on the wharf."] 

The sides of this church all along are lined with 

In the Church des Augustins we saw Rubens's 
Assembly of the Saints^ from Paris ; where he has 
shown how weak he could be in composition, and in 
vanity — for it is the third picture in which he has 
put himself in St. George's armour. The composition 
is confused, without an object to fix the attention. 
A Vandyck near him is much superior. 

[Polidori's observations about Flemish paintings 
are generally indicative of liking, more or less : but 
Byron went dead against them. In a letter of his 
to his half-sister, Mrs. Leigh, written from Brussels 
on May i, 1816, we find: "As for churches and 
pictures, I have stared at them till my brains are 
like a guide-book : the last (though it is heresy to 
say so) don't please me at all. I think Rubens a 
very great dauber, and prefer Vandyck a hundred 
times over — but then I know nothing about the 
matter. Rubens's women have all red gowns and 
red shoulders ; to say nothing of necks, of which 


they are more liberal than charming. It may all 
be very fine, and I suppose it may be art, for 'tis not 
nature." Again, in a letter to John Murray from 
Milan, October 15, 1816: "The Flemish school, 
such as I saw it in Flanders, I utterly detested, 
despised, and abhorred."] 

Here is also the famous picture of Jordaens, of The 
Martyrdom of St. Apollonia. Colouring approaches 
Rubens ; but abominable composition — crowded, large, 
numerous figures in a small space. There were some 
modern paintings of existing artists — meagre statue- 

In the Musee we saw many Rubenses. The famous 
Descent from the Cross : the effect of the white sheet 
is wonderfully beautiful. Picture's drawing I do not 
like. The Christ seems not dead, as there is certainly 
action ; but the colouring is splendidly rich. The 
Crucifixion near it, inferior in all. In a sketch near 
it he has not succeeded so well in the white sheet, it 
being not so splendidly white. We could only see 
the side-pieces of the great Crucifixion, as the large 
piece was being framed. In these there is much 
caricature drawing : a woman rising from the dead— 
surely a woman large as Guy Warwick giant's wife, 
if ever he had one : caricature physiognomies, and 
most hellish egregious breasts, which a child refuses, 
with horror in its face. His horses have much spirit — 


true Flemish size. Indeed, divest Rubens of his rich 
apparel, and he is a mere dauber in design. There 
is a Mary going to Elizabeth^ looking more like a 
cardinal : indeed, my companion, Lord Byron, took 
her for one of the red-vested nobles. No divinity 
about his Christs ; putrefaction upon his Gods ; ex- 
aggerated passion about his men and women, painted 
not all-concealing. In his picture of The Adoration 
of the Magi, query did he not intend to play upon 
the people by passing off a caricature for a religious 
painting? The royal personage in green seems as if 
his eyes had grown big after dinner. He has no 
costume properly applied : the Virgin in the manger 
is dressed meretriciously in silks and lace. Then 
look at our blessed Saviour showing His wounds. 
His finest painting is his Crucifixion in which is the 
white sheet : but there are defects. What then must 
be the power of colouring which causes you to view 
his paintings with pleasure ! It is like melodious 
music which makes you forget the absurd words of 
an old English song. 

Vandyck, in my opinion, was much superior to 
Rubens. His colouring, near his, is sombre ; but 
then his design is more perfect, his impressions 
remain longer in the mind distinct, and do not fade 
away into ideas of red and blue round white. A 
little Crucifix of his is worth his rival's largest 


paintings. His Christ Dead is beautiful, wherein are 
contained the Blessed Virgin, St. Mary Magdalene, 
and St. John weeping: the different expressions of 
grief, the unison of colouring with the subject, the 
composition, all excellent. 

From the Cathedral we went to see the works 
of Napoleon. We first saw the Basins. They are 
not so large as our West India Docks — square — but 
are capable of holding ships of the line; there are 
two. Between them is what was formerly the 
Hanseatic Hall, now magazines. When the English 
were last here they threw bombs, but this was of no 
avail ; dung was put upon the ships, and men were 
at hand in case of fire. From the Basins we went 
along the quays — very long, along the labouring 
Scheldt ; then into the places for marine arsehals, 
where the vessels were on the stocks — the finest works 
I ever saw, now useless through our jealousy. The 
rope-house, quite finished, is enormously long, and is 
to be pulled down. The timbers for the ship were 
numbered, and carried to Amsterdam. The citadel 
was mean-looking, though so strong. The chief 
batteries are as old as Alva's time — there was one 
pointed out as erected by Colonel Crawford. Before 
Napoleon's time there was little done towards the 
formation of these basins and others ; but, said our 
guide, "he decreed they should be made, and they 


appeared." They are all surrounded with high walls 
to hinder the escape of the employed. Carnot has 
commanded here twice. He was rather disliked, yet 
they had rather have him than any other. They all 
agree in his genius. In the time of the Walcheren 
business the English were expected with open arms : 
only three hundred soldiers — Bernadotte was general. 
The siege was not very strict on the last occasion, 
and no mischief was done on either side. In the 
Basins there have been twenty-six line. In the dread 
of a siege all the suburbs were destroyed and all the 
trees around. The suburbs rose immediately, the 
trees in years. In the citadel there are 1500 forgats. 
Sometimes the number exceeds 2000. 

Having seen thus much, we returned, lunched, and 
rode off. Hardly gone a little way when our carriage 
broke down. The trees are more various — vegetation 
more advanced — more inequality of ground — more 
pollards — more apparent misery — more villas, some 
pretty — more clipped hedges — more like England — 
fine, large, town-like villages. Carriage broke again — 
walked to Malines — arrived there at ten. Women 

At Antwerp, in one church on the outside, saw a 
supposed exact imitation of the Sepulchre, though I 
do not know how it came seated " in purgatory " ; as 
there certainly is a place so called round it, full of 


the damned and flames. The place is grotto-work. 
Within there is a representation of our Lord swathed 
in linen. All over there are statues, so so. David is 
at a respectable distance from purgatory : this makes 
it the more remarkable that the Sepulchre is seated 
in purgatory. Indeed, indeed, there is much absurdity. 

There is an academy for drawing and painting, 
with a museum. The Place is in a garden. 

On arriving at Malines we found Mr. Pradt gone 
from his bishopric amongst his brethren ; and we are 
assured he was a " vraiment frangais," and that he 
was not a " Catholique," and that this town wanted a 
" vraiment Catholique." 

[The Abb^ de Pradt, born in Auvergne in 1759, 
had been a champion of the monarchy in the Con- 
stituent Assembly of 1789-91. Napoleon made him 
Archbishop of Malines towards 1809, but afterwards 
viewed him with disfavour. He resigned the Arch- 
bishopric in 1 8 16, receiving a pension. He wrote a 
number of books on political and public matters, and 
died in 1837.] 

The country from Antwerp to Malines becomes 
more and more like England : trees more various, 
not the same dead flat but varied with gentle swells, 
many pollards, and more miserable cottages. 

There is in the Cathedral [in Antwerp] a painting 
by Floris — the one on which is the bee — where he has 


shown great imagination and fire in the devils. It is 
the victory of the angels when fighting against the 

Maj/ I. — As soon as up, I went to the Cathedral, 
which has a fine tower. On entering I saw many 
pictures. None that I saw seemed particularly good. 
The church was pretty full of people, who really 
seemed devout. They were not the old and weak, 
but there was of every age. The young maiden was 
seen by the side of decrepit age, beauty by deformity, 
childhood by manhood. The effect on the mind is 
contagious. Many masses were going on at the 
same time. A woman went round for money for the 
chairs. Here I saw the first Christian caryatides. 

We soon set off for Brussels. Between V. and 
that town the road is beautiful ; a canal on one side, 
fine trees forming a long avenue diversified with 
glimpses of a rich country. We passed the Castle of 
Lac, the former residence of Buonaparte. It has a 
fine front upon an eminence, but the dome stands 
forth in glaring ugliness. We entered Brussels by 
the Allee Verte, a fine promenade. 

Brussels, the old town, is not so fine as Antwerp, 
Ghent, or Bruges. The Grand Marche is very beauti- 
ful, only the buildings seem to be neglected. Fine 
public offices, with a tall spire, on one side — the Mairie 
opposite. The Place Royale is very fine ; the fronts 


of the houses and hotels around seeming together 
to form parts of one great palace ; and the church on 
one side, with the housy wings, has a fine effect in 
spite of the ugly tower at the top. The gardens are 
beautiful with green, and well laid out in walks, 
with groups and termites — the Palace opposite. The 
entrance from the Place Royale presents a fine front, 
and the suburbs round it are also good. We are at 
the Hotel d'Angleterre. Saw Morning Chronicles, 
which are again dutysied. 

Brussels was not at all fortified in the Waterloo 
time. The Germans at one time had retreated as far 
as the gates, which were obliged to be shut against 
them. In case of a retreat there would have been a 
pleasant rush, almost as great as at a fashionable 
rout, as they must all have passed through Brussels. 
The carriage was put under hand. Crowds of 

May 2. — We have seen many, many soldiers. No 
wonder they were light of foot when not more heavy 
of age, for none have beards yet except some few 

The English women are the only good-looking 
women in Brussels ; though, with true English 
Bullism, they vest here a complete Anglomanian 
costume, preserving their French fashions for the 
English winds to waft. The women of Brabant and 


the Netherlands are all ugly to the eye after the 
piquant begins to pall, for there are no regular 
beauties or beauty of expression, except that levity 
which tells of lightness of cares and youth. 

It is not for a foreigner to call a thing absurd 
because it does not tally with his ideas, or the 
ladies' costume, except the black mantle, should be 
put down as such by me. The men also are short 
and bad-looking, either consummate impudence 
or complete insignificance — no individuality. The 
indelicacy of these Belgians is gross ; all kinds of 
disgusting books publicly sold, and exposed to the 
eyes of all young damsels — beastliness publicly 
exhibited on the public monuments — fountains with 
men vomiting with effort a stream of water — and 
still worse. The town (Brussels) is situated on an 
eminence, and is really poor in comparison of the 
other Belgic towns by us seen. 

After dinner, having dressed, I went, having written 
two letters, to the theatre. Mounting a voiture, I was 
soon there. Ascending some stairs, I came to a door 
where, after some knocking, a man took my money, 
and gave me tickets, which, changed twice, brought 
me to the first row of boxes. The first look at the 
lobbies was sufficient to give me an idea of all the 
rest — misery, misery, misery, wherever one turned — 
to the floor, to the ceiling, to the wall, to the box- 


wall, all garret of the St. Giles style. Most of the 
doors had Abonnement written on them. I got into 
one, and what a sight ! boxes dirty with filth. One 
chandelier was sufficient for the pockets of a Brussels 
manager, hung from the middle. Pit divided into 
two parts of different prices, boxes into three, 
and a gallery. Chairs, not benches, in the boxes. 
Ladies came and sat and talked, and talked and sat 
and stood, and went away. Many English ladies. 
Orchestra began — all violins, seven in all. Curtain 
up — a farce : no — it did not make me laugh. How 
call that a theatrical amusement which only seems 
fitted to excite the pleasurable sensation of yawn- 
ing? It was French. An actress, the best amongst 
them, spoke French like a base pig; another con- 
torted the fine lady into one with a paralytic stroke 
after sitting up at cards ; the gentlemen like purlieu- 
bullies; and high life was copied from the waiting- 
maids of butchers' ladies. I was a little surprised at 
the applause that a lady actress gained. It moved 
me astonishingly : not her acting, but the lookers-on 
acting pleasure. At last came the wind whistling 
through the reeds, the thunder-hurling cheeks, and lash- 
ing hands, to my great admiration. It moved phlegm. 
One who was to act Blondel was vomiting at 
home. I went behind the scenes, and saw dismay in 
every face, and terror in every limb. The curtain 
drew up, and the play began. Hisses hisses, hisses. 


It fell, and fear increased. Some time was spent 
in cogitation. The venturous gold-decked hero 
advanced, retired, was rebuked by the police and 
forced to advance. Hisses. He said to the audience 
he was forced to advance. They listened, and qui- 
proquos commenced between the players and the 
audience, with the sonorous hiss of anger. The police 
saw all was in vain, and ordered the actors off the 
boards. I in the meantime was chatting with two 
apparent goddesses, who very concisely explained the 
trembling of the actors, etc., by telling me of real 
showers of eggs, etc. As I left the house I heard 
groans and hollow sounds, and cries of "Give me back 
my money : I am an abonne\ and have seen nothing." 
I ran — I and the police pushing on, the mob pushing 
us back, etc. Going along the lobbies, what was my 
wonder to stumble on a bookseller's shop, where was 
an assemblage of delicacies fit for the modest, and 
wondrous delicate ! 

May 3. — I saw in the street three dogs, of the bull- 
dog race, dragging up a hill at a good pace what I 
am sure two men would not have strength to drag. 
I saw also a goat fastened to a child's car. I went 
all over the town for a caleche — bought one for 
75 louis. In the evening, having procured redingotes 
(which I did not use), we mounted a coach and drove 
to . Returned home, ate, and slept. 

May 4. — Having risen, foolishly paid 40 naps, to 


the coachmaker. My Lord and servant stepped into 
the caleche. I and a servant got on horseback, and 
went to Waterloo. We soon entered Soignies, which 
on both sides formed a beautiful wood (not forest, for 
it was not wild on either side) for several miles. The 
avenue it formed varied in length : sometimes the end 
was formed by a turn of the road, sometimes by the 
mere perspective effect of narrowing. The trees are 
all young — none of above thirty years' growth. We 
then reached Waterloo, where were the head-quarters 
of Napoleon. An officious host pressed us to order 
dinner. We ran from his pressing, and advancing 
came to St. Jean, where the boys continued the offer- 
ings we first had at Waterloo of buttons, books, etc. 
This was the village which gave the French name to 
the battle, I believe, as it was the spot which Napo- 
leon tried to gain. The view of the plain, as we 
advanced to the right, struck us as fields formed 
almost with the hopes that spirit and war would make 
their havoc here. Gentle risings, sufficient to give 
advantage to the attacked — few hedges — few trees. 
There was no sign of desolation to attract the passer- 
by ; if it were not for the importunity of boys, and 
the glitter of buttons in their hands, there would be 
no sign of war. The peasant whistled as blithely, 
the green of Nature was as deep, and the trees waved 
their branches as softly, as before the battle. The 


houses were repaired. Only a few spots with white 
plaster between the bricks pointed out the cannon's 
ruin ; and in ruins there was only Hougoumont, which 
was attacked so bravely and defended so easily — at 
least so I should imagine from the few killed in the 
garden and the appearance of the whole, while so 
many French lay dead in the field. In the garden 
were only 25 English killed, while in the field 15CX); 
and on the other side 600 French, not counting the 
wounded, were slain. Indeed, the gallantry, the 
resolution and courage, which the French displayed 
in attacking this place, guarded from the heights by 
our cannon, and by our soldiers through the loop- 
holes, would alone ennoble the cause in which they 
fought. Before arriving at Hougoumont, the spots 
where Hill, Picton, and the Scotch Greys did their 
several deeds, were pointed out to us. The spot 
which bore the dreadful charge of cavalry is only 
marked by a hedge. The cuirassiers advancing, the 
Scots divided — showed a masked battery, which fired 
grape into the adverse party's ranks — then it was the 
Scots attacked. I do not now so much wonder at 
their victory. The cuirasses which we saw were almost 
all marked with bullets, lance- and sabre-cuts. Buona- 
parte and the French, our guide said, much admired 
the good discipline and undaunted courage of the 
short-kilted Scot. Going forward, the spot at which 


the Prussians, the lucky gainers of the battle, emerged, 
was pointed out to us — and, a little farther on, we 
were shown the spot where Colonel Howard, my 
friend's cousin, was buried before being carried to 
England. Three trees, of which one is cut down, 
mark the spot, now ploughed over. At Hougoumont 
we saw the untouched chapel where our wounded 
lay, and where the fire consumed the toes of a 
crucifix. We there inscribed our names amongst 
cits and lords. We found here a gardener who 
pointed out the garden — the gate where the French 
were all burnt — the gap in the hedge where the 
French attempted, after the loss of 1500 men, to 
storm the place — the field, quarter of an acre, in 
which were heaps of Gallic corpses. The gardener 
and the dog, which we saw, had been detained at 
Hougoumont by General Maitland in case of a 
retreat. The peasants declare that from 4 to 5 
the affair was very, very doubtful, and that at the last 
charge of the Imperial Guards Napoleon was certain 
of being in Brussels in quatre heures, Wellington, 
after the defeat of the Prussians etc., on the 17th 
went to Waterloo, and determined where he would 
place each corps. This was a great advantage : but, 
in spite of the excellence of his position, he would 
certainly have been defeated had it not been for the 
fortunate advance of the Prussians. From Hougou- 


mont we went to the red-tiled house which is the 

rebuilding of the house where was Buonaparte's last 

station and head-quarters. It was from this spot that 

he viewed the arrival of the Prussians, under the idea 

of their being the corps of Grouchy. It was here he 

felt first the certainty of defeat, just after he had led 

the old Imperial Guard, in the certainty of victory, to 

his last attack. La Belle Alliance next appeared 

along the road, here where Wellington and Blucher 

met. The name is derived from a marriage in the 

time of peace : it is now applicable to a war-meeting. 

Thence we returned to St. Jean, after going again to 

Hougoumont. There we were shown cuirasses, helms, 

buttons, swords, eagles, and regiment-books. We 

bought the helms, cuirasses, swords, etc., of an officer 

and soldier of cuirassiers, besides eagles, cockades, 

etc. Beggars, the result of English profusion. A 

dinner, measured by some hungry John Bull's hungry 

stomach. We rode off the field, my companion 

singing a Turkish song — myself silent, full gallop 

cantering over the field, the finest one imaginable 

for a battle. The guide told us that the account 

Buonaparte's guide gave of him after the battle was 

that he only asked the road to Paris, not saying 

anything else. 

At Hougoumont various spots were pointed out : 
amongst the rest the one where Maitland stood 


watching a telegraph on the neighbouring rise, which 
told him what was going on on both sides. 

We rode home together through Soignies forest 
— black. The twilight made the whole length of the 
road more pleasing. On reaching home, we found 
the coach was jogged ; so much so that it would not 
allow us to put confidence in it, etc. At last we gave 
it into Mr. Gordon's hands. My friend has written 
twenty-six stanzas (?) to-day — some on Waterloo. 

[There are a few points in this narrative of May 4 
which call for a little comment. 

1. As to " the spot where Colonel Howard, my 

friend's cousin, was buried before being carried to 

England." Few passages in the 3rd canto of Childe 

Harold, which in its opening deals with Byron's 

experiences in these days, are better known than the 

stanzas (29 to 31) where he celebrates the death of 

" young gallant Howard." Stanza 30 is the one most 

germane to our immediate purpose — 

"There have been tears and breaking hearts for thee, 
And mine were nothing, had I such to give. 
But, when I stood beneath the fresh green tree 
Which living waves where thou didst cease to live, 
And saw around me the wide field revive 
With fruits and fertile promise, and the Spring 
Come forth her work of gladness to contrive, 
With all her reckless birds upon the wing, 
I tum'd from all she brought to those she could not bring." 

2. The statement that "the coach was jogged" 


refers to that caleche which had been just bought in 
Brussels for the servants — not to the elaborate travel- 
ling-carriage. Some trouble ensued over the caliche. 
The coachmaker who had sold it tried to make Lord 
Byron pay up the balance of the price. Not carrying 
his point, he got a warrant-officer to seize a different 
vehicle, a chaise, belonging to the poet. The latter, 
so far as appears, took no further steps. 

3. To write twenty-six stanzas in one day is no 
small feat ; especially if these are the nine-line stanzas 
of Childe Harold, and if the substantial work of the 
day consisted in riding from Brussels to Waterloo 
and back, and deliberately inspecting the field of 
battle. The entry, as written by Charlotte Polidori, 
stands thus — " 26 St.," which I apprehend can only 
mean "stanzas." If one were to suppose that the 
stanzas thus written on May 4 were the first twenty- 
six stanzas of Childe Harold, canto 3 (but this of 
course is not a necessary inference), Byron now got 
up to the stanza which begins 

"And wild and high the 'Camerons' gathering' rose."] 

I made up my accounts, and was not a little startled 
by a deficit of 10 napoleons, which I at last found 
was a mere miscalculation. Rode about thirty miles 
in all. 

Forgot to say I saw Sir Nath[aniel] Wraxall at 


Dover, who, having introduced himself to Lord Byron 
as a friend defamille, began talking, knocking his feet 
in rattattat, still all the while oppressed by feeling 
very awkward. 

[I do not find in Byron's correspondence any refer- 
ence to this interview, on April 25 or 26, with Sir 
Nathaniel Wraxall. But, in his letter of April 25 to 
his half-sister, he mentions that he met on the 24th 
with Colonel Wildman, an old school-fellow, and later 
on the purchaser of Newstead Abbey, who gave him 
some details concerning the death of Colonel Howard 
at Waterloo.] 

At Brussels, the people were in a great stew, the 
night of the battle of Waterloo — their servants and 
others waking them every minute to tell them the 
French were at the gates. Some Germans went there 
with mighty great courage, in flight. Lord W[elling- 
ton?] sent to a colonel to enquire whether he was 
going to fly from or to the battle, giving him his 
choice to act in either way. On hearing this, the said 
colonel boldly faced about, and trotted to Brussels 
with his troop. A supernumerary aide-de-camp, the 
brother of N., with two others, was riding between 
the ranks while the French were firing ; when, ours 
crying out " They aim at you," all three were struck 
in the jaw, much in the same place, dead. After the 
battle, a friend asking what was become of N., the 


Serjeant pointed to his feet, saying " There," which 
was fact. Dacosta, the guide, says that Buonaparte 
was cool and collected till the Prussians arrived ; that 
then he said to Bertrand, " That appears to be the 
Prussian eagle " ; and, upon Bertrand's assenting, his 
face became momentarily pale. He says that, when 
he led up the Imperial Guard, on arriving at the red- 
tiled house, he went behind a hillock, so as not to be 
seen, and so gave them the slip. Wellington acted 
the soldier when he should have acted the general, 
and the light-limbed dancer when he should have 
been the soldier. I cannot, after viewing the ground, 
and bearing in mind the men's superior courage, give 
Wellington the palm of generalship that has been 
snatched for him by so many of his admirers. 
Napoleon only took one glass of wine from the 
beginning of the battle to the end of his flight. 

May 5. — Got up at ten from fatigue. Whilst at 
breakfast, there came a Mr. Pryse Gordon for L[ord] 
B[yron]. I entertained him. He has been to Italy, 
and travelled a great deal — a good-natured gentle- 
man. Took him to see the carriage : there he intro- 
duced me to his son by means of a trumpet. After 
his departure we set off for the Chateau du Lac, 
where we found the hind front much finer than the 
other for want of the startling (?) dome and low- 
windows. It has all its master-apartments on the 


ground-floor: they are extremely well laid out both 
with regard to comfort and magnificence — they were 
furnished by Nap[oleon]. We saw the bed where 
Josephine, Marie Louise, and the Queen of Holland, 
have been treading fast on one another's heels. The 
hall for concerts divides the Emperor's from the 
Empress' rooms — it has a rich appearance, and is 
Corinthian. The flooring of the Emperor's is all 
wood of different colours — checked — having to my eye 
a more pleasing appearance than the carpeted ones of 
the Empress. I sat down on two chairs on which had 
sat he who ruled the world at one time. Some of his 
eagles were yet remaining on the chairs. The servant 
seemed a little astonished at our bowing before them. 
We returned, it raining all the while. After dinner 
Mr. G[ordon] came for us to go to coffee. We went, 
and were graciously received ; Lord B[yron] as him- 
self, I as a tassel to the purse of merit. I there saw 
a painting of Rembrandt's wife or mother by himself, 
which was full of life, and some verses by Walter 
Scott written in the hostess' album, where he says 
Waterloo will last longer than Cressy and Agincourt. 
How different ! They only agree in one thing — that 
they were both in the cause of injustice. The novels of 
Casti were presented to me by Mr. Gordon, which I 
was rather surprised at. We came over. Scott writes 
in M[rs]. G[ordon's] book — 


" For one brief hour of deathless fame " [Scott]. 
"Oh Walter Scott, for shame, for shame" [Byron]. 
[The novels of the Abate Casti (who died in 1803) 
are notoriously licentious : hence, I suppose, Polidori's 
surprise at the presentation of them by Mr. Gordon. 
Byron, it is stated by this gentleman, was asked by 
Mrs. Gordon on May 5 to write some lines in her 
album. He took the volume away with him, and on 
the following day brought it back, having inserted in 
it the two opening stanzas on Waterloo forming part 
of canto 3 of Childe Harold — from 

" Stop, for thy tread is on an empire's dust," 
"He wears the shattered links of the world's broken chain"] 

May 6. — Mr. G[ordon] and son came while at break- 
fast ; gave us letters, etc. Saw the little child again ; 
B[yron] gave it a doll. 

[It may be excusable to suppose that this trifling 
incident is not wholly foreign to a stanza, 54, in the 
3rd canto of Childe Harold. This stanza comes 
immediately after Byron has begun to speak of the 
Rhine, and incidentally of the afl"ection which his 
half-sister bore him. Then he proceeds — 

"And he had learn'd to love — I know not why, 
For this in such as him seems strange of mood — 
The helpless looks of blooming infancy. 
Even in its earliest nurture. What subdued, 


To change like this, a mind so far imbued 
With scorn of man, it little boots to know : 
But thus it was ; and, though in solitude 
Small power the nipp'd affections have to grow, 
In him this glow'd when all beside had ceased to glow."] 

The carrossier came. Set off at two, passing through 
a country increasing in inequalities. We arrived first 
at Louvain, where we saw the outside of a beautiful 
Town-hall, which is one of the prettiest pieces of 
external fretwork I have seen. Thence we went to 
Tirlemont, where was a Jubilee. Saints and sinners 
under the red canopy (the sky dirty Indian-ink one) 
were alike in the streets. Every street had stuck in 
it, at a few paces from the house-walls, fir-branches 
1 6 or 17 feet high, distant from one another 5 or 6 
feet. Thence to St. Trond, where we ate — and slept, 
I suppose. The country is highly cultivated, and 
the trees older. The avenues have a more majestic 
appearance from the long swells of ground and the 
straight roads, but there is more squalid misery than 
I have seen anywhere. The houses are many of them 
mud, and the only clean part about them is the white- 
wash on the external walls. Dunghills before some 
must be trodden on before entering the houses. The 
towns also fall off greatly in neat and comfortable 
looks. The walls round them look ruined and deso- 
late, and give a great idea of insecurity. We put the 
servants on board-wages. 


May 7.— Set off from St. Trond at 11. The 
country is highly cultivated ; continual hill and dale ; 
lower orders miserable in perfection ; houses built of 
mud, the upper storeys of which are only built of 
beams, the mud having fallen off. Bridges thrown 
over the dirt they were too idle to remove. Dung- 
hills at their doors, and ditches with black fetid water 
before their first step. Liege has a pretty neigh- 
bourhood, but the town itself is filthy and disagree- 
able. They visited our passports here at three 
different places. The hill above the town is enor- 
mously steep ; and from some way beyond it has a 
beautiful view of Liege with its towers and domes — 
of the country with its many cots and villas — and of 
the Meuse. The road now lies through a scene 
where cottages are spread like trees, and hedges 
like furrows of corn, the fields are so minutely 
divided. A little farther still we had a most splen- 
did view through many miles. From a valley we 
could see everything clearly, crowded in a blue tint, 
and in a river through it we could see the shadows 
of the trees. The cottages are improving, and the 
roads becoming the worst ever seen ; paved still, but 
so horridly hilled and vallied that the rolling of the 
carriage is like the rolling of a ship. 

We came at last to Battice ; but before entering 
we passed by a village where beggar little cherubs 


came to the carriage-side, and running cried out, 
" Donnez-nous quelque chose. Monsieur le chef de 
bataillon " ; another, " Monsieur le general." And a 
third little urchin, who gesticulated as well as cried, 
perceiving the others had exhausted the army, cried, 
" Un sou, Messieurs les rois des Hanov6riens ! " We 
arrived at Battice, where beggars, beggars. There 
we found horses just come in. 

After debate (wherein I was for Aix-la-Chapelle, 
L[ord] B[yron] for stopping) we set off; and such 
a jolting, roUing, knocking, and half-a-dozen etc., as 
our carriage went through, I never saw, which put 
L[ord] B[yron] to accusing me of bad advice ; clear- 
ing however as the road mended. The rain fell into 
a pond, to be illuminated by sunshine before we 
reached Aix-la-Chapelle at half-past twelve. 

May 8. — Got up late. Went to see the Cathedral : 
full of people, lower ranks, hearing mass. Miserable 
painting, architecture, etc. Saw also a church wherein 
was no particular picture or anything. At Liege the 
revolutionists had destroyed the fine Cathedral. 

A German boy who led me about Aix-la-Chapelle, 
on my asking him in broken German about the 
baths, led me to a very different place. I was 
astonished to find myself in certain company. The 
baths are hot sulphuretted - hydrogen - impregnated 
water. The sulphur-beds are only shown to dukes 


and kings : so a kingdom is good for something. 
I saw the baths themselves : like others, not very 

We left Aix-la-Chapelle at twelve, going through 
a fine country, with no hedges but fine woods in the 
distance. We arrived at St. Juliers, strongly forti- 
fied, where they took our names at entering and at 
exiting. It is a neat town, and was besieged last 
year. We were at the post taken by a man for 
Frenchmen, and he told us we had been driven from 
Russia by a band of the Emperor. He seemed to 
be very fond of them, and gave as a reason that he 
had been employed by them for many years. And, 
I forgetfully saying, " What ! were they here ? " — 
"Yes, and farther." I answered, "Jusqu'a Moscou." 
" Oui, et presque plus loin." That " presque " means 
much. The French were not generally liked, I be- 
lieve. The lower orders perhaps liked them, but the 
middle, I doubt. But I cannot say ; I may perhaps 
be influenced by the opinion of a beautiful face of 
this town, who, on my asking her whether the dames 
fiaimaient pas beaucoup les Frangais^ answered, " Oui^ 
les dames publiquesr 

We find it a great inconvenience that the Poste is 
a separate concern, and generally pretty distant from 
the inn. The women are many of them very beauti- 
ful, and many of them, as well as the men, have fine 


dark eyes and hair. The men wear ear-rings, and 
curl their hair ; which, if I remember rightly, was the 
custom in the time of Tacitus. Many of the women 
wear their hair combed quite back, and upon it a 
little square piece of linen. The French were par- 
ticularly polite during the siege. 

We entered the dominions of the King of Prussia 
a little beyond Battice. It causes a strange sensation 
to an Englishman to pass into one state from another 
without crossing any visible line. Indeed, we should 
not have perceived that we had, if we had not been 
stopped by a Belgian guard who asked us if we had 
anything to declare. The difference is, however, very 
striking. The men, the women, everything, improve 
— except the cottages. The people look cleaner, 
though everything else is dirty ; contrary to the 
Belgians, they seem to collect their cleanliness upon 
themselves, instead of throwing it upon their cots, 
tins, trees, and shrubs. 

We arrived at Cologne after much bad, sandy, 
heavy road, at ii. The pavement begins to be 
interrupted after Aix, but ends almost entirely after 
St. Juliers. Cologne is upon a flat on the Rhine. 
We were groaning at having no sight of far-famed 
Cologne, when we came suddenly under its battle- 
ments and towers. We passed through its fortifica- 
tions without question. After having found the gates 


shut, and feed the porter, we found inns full, and 
at last got into the H6tel de Prague. 

May 9. — Got up very bad.^ Sat down to breakfast. 
Just done, we heard some singing. Enquiry told us, 
buyable. Got them up. A harp played by a dark- 
haired German, pretty, and two fiddlers. She played 
and sang The Troubadour, which brought back a 
chain of Scotch recollections, and a German song; 
then a beautiful march, in which the music died away 
and then suddenly revived. After a waltz we dis- 
missed them. We both mounted a voiture, and drove 
through the town to the Cathedral. Great part 
pulled down by the revolutionists, and the roof of 
the nave obliged to be restored with plain board — 
a staring monument over Gallic ruin. There is fine 
stained glass, and the effect of its being very high 
anH variegated in the choir is beautiful. We saw 
a fine painting here by Kalf : vide Taschbuch. The 
tomb of the three kings said to be worth three 
millions of francs, and an immensely rich treasury 
wherein was a sacrament worth one million of francs. 
In falling down a step I broke a glass, for which they 
at first would not take anything — which at last cost 
me three francs. Kept countenance amazingly well. 

Went to see St. Ursula's Church, where we were 

^ Such is the word written by Charlotte Polidori. I fancy it 
ought to be " late." 


shown virgins' skulls of ninety years old, male and 
female, all jumbled into a mass of ii,cxx) virgins' 
bones arranged all in order— some gilt, etc. A whole 
room bedecked with them. All round, indeed, what- 
ever we saw were relics, skulls ; some in the heads of 
silver-faced busts, some arranged in little cells with 
velvet cases, wherein was worked the name of each. 
Paintings of St. Ursula, etc. Asked for a piece out 
of the masses : only got a smile, and a point of a 
finger to an interdiction in Latin, which I did not 

We went to see a picture of Rubens, The Nailing 
of St. Peter to a Cross ; the best design, though not 
very good, I yet have seen of his. A German artist 
copying it spoke English to us. 

Returned home. Sent my name to Professor Wall- 
raf : got admission. Found a venerable old man who 
has spent his life in making a collection of paintings 
and other objects of vertu belonging to his country, 
Cologne, which he intends leaving to his native 

[This is no doubt the Wallraf who was joint founder 
of the celebrated Wallraf-Richartz Museum in Cologne. 
The statement which ensues as to an early oil-painter 
named Kaft is noticeable ; whether correct I am un- 
able to say. The Wallraf-Richartz Museum does not 
contain any painting by Tintoretto to which the name 


Campavella could apply: there is a fine picture by 
him of Ovid and Corinna.l 

Many pictures were extremely good, especially 
painting of individuals. Kaft was a native of this 
town, who painted in oil before oil-painting was 
known. Saw some Poussins, Claude Lorraines. Some 
moderate. A Tintoretto of Campavella beautiful : 
colouring and drawing strong and expressive. A 
Rembrandt and a Teniers, etc. A master of Rubens. 
A copy in colours from the drawing of Raphael by 
one of his disciples. Cologne has stamped more 
coins than some empires, and has coined twenty-six 
kinds of gold. He had made drawings of them, but 
the revolution stopped it. The revolutionary Gauls, 
he said with a tear in his eye, had destroyed many 
very valuable relics of Cologne ; and, pointing to a 
leaf of a missal with another tear, he said : " Many 
like this once adorned our churches : this is all." He 
had the original manuscript of Albert le Grand, 
History of Animals ; Titian's four designs of the 
Caesars at Polenham, with his own handwriting ; the 
Albert Durer's sketch of Christ's head which belonged 
to Charles 1 1 ; and a painting of Albert Durer's 
Master.^ He wishes for a copy of any of Caxton's 
printing in England. 

^ Only an initial is written, "M" : but I suppose "Master"— 
i.e. Michael Wohlgemuth — is meant. 


Went to buy some books. Found Miss Helmhoft, 
a fine woman. Had a long confab. Bought more 
books than I wanted. Heard her spout German 
poetry that I did not understand ; and laughed at 
the oddity of her gesticulation, which she took for 
laughter at the wit of a poet who was describing 
the want of a shirt — and was highly pleased. 

The French destroyed convents, and made of them 
public places for walking. 

Have been taken for servants, Frenchmen, mer- 
chants — never hardly for English. Saw the Rhine 
last night — fine mass of water, wide as the Thames 
some way below Blackwall ; but no tide, and very 
deep. Town dirty, very decayed, badly paved, worse 
lighted, and few marks of splendour and comfort. 

May 10. — We have seen crucifixes for these four 
days at every turn, some made of wood, some of 
stone, etc. Set off, after having defeated the im- 
position of a postman, to Bonn ; the scenery not any- 
thing particular till we see the Seven Hills, a large 
amphitheatre on the right, glimpses on the left of the 
Rhine, and the Seven Hills. Bonn at last appeared, 
with its steeples, and on the neighbouring hills castles 
and cots, towers, and (not) towns.^ 

1 It seems rather odd that Polidori should make this jotting, 
" and (not) towns." Perhaps he aimed to controvert the phrase, 
"scattered cities crowning these," in Byron's poem quoted 
further on. 


I saw yesterday a picture of Rembrandt's with 
three lights in it very well managed, at Wallrafs. 

Saw R. Simmons' writing in the police-book at 
Bonn, and wrote to Soane. 

[This was John, the son of Sir John Soane, founder 
of the Soane Museum in Lincoln's Inn Fields.] 

The innkeeper makes you put your name — whence 
— whither — profession and age — every night. Rogues 
all of them, charging much. 

May II. — We saw the first vines a little before 
entering Cologne some days ago. We left Bonn at 
eleven, the town having nothing in particular. The 
Seven Hills were the first that struck our sight on 
one of the highest pinnacles in Drachenfels, now a 
mere ruin, formerly a castle of which many a tale is 
told. There was by the roadside a monument raised 
upon the spot where one noble brother killed another. 
Crucifixes all the way. We had the river on one 
side, whence rose hills (not mountains) cultivated 
halfway for vines — and the rest, nuts, shrubs, oak, etc. 
Towers on pinnacles, in ruin ; villages (with each its 
spire) built of mud. 

Cultivation in a high degree ; no hedges, ground 
minutely divided into beds rather than fields ; women 
working in the fields ; ox and horse ploughing ; oxen 
draw by their heads alone. Peasantry happy-looking 
and content. Two points particularly struck us — 


the Drachenfels, and the view at a distance before 

coming to Videnhar when the distant hills were 

black with the rain. But the whole way it is one of 

the finest scenes, I imagine, in the world. The large 

river with its massy swells and varied towered banks. 

We changed horses at Bemagne, and passed over a 

road first cut by Aurelius, Theodoric, and Buonaparte. 

B[uonaparte]'s name is everywhere. Who did this ? 

N[apoleon] B[uonaparte]. — Who that? — He. There 

is an inscription to record this. Andernach — a fine 

entrance from Bemagne, with its massy towers and 

square-spired church. From Andernach we passed 

on. Saw on the other side Neuwied, a town owing 

its existence to the mere toleration of religion. It 

is the finest and [most] flourishing we have seen since 

Ghent and Antwerp. We saw the tomb of Hoche at 

a distance ; went to it. There was inscribed " The 

army of the Sambre and the Moselle to its general-in- 

chief Hoche." The reliefs are torn off, the marble 

slabs broken, and it is falling. But — 

" Glory of the fallen brave 
Shall men remember though forgot their grave," 

and the enemies may launch malicious darts against 
it. After Andernach the Rhine loses much. The 
valley is wider, and the beautiful, after the almost 
sublime, palls, and man is fastidious. 

[The celebrated lyric by Byron introduced into 


Childe Harold^ an address to his half-sister, is stated 
farther on to have been written on this very day. I 
cite the first stanza — 

"The castled crag of Drachenfels 
Frowns o'er the wide and winding Rhine, 
Whose breast of waters broadly swells 
Between the banks which bear the vine ; 
And hills all rich with blossom'd trees, 
And fields which promise corn and wine. 
And scattered cities crowning these, 
Whose far white walls along them shine, 
Have strew'd a scene which I should see 
With double joy wert thou with me."] 

About a mile from Coblentz we saw Marceau's tomb 
— too dark. Crossed the bridge over the Moselle, 
entered Coblentz ; asked of military, no pass ; went to 
inns, rascals. Went to the Trois Suisses — well served ; 
fine view of Ehrenbreitstein fortress in sight. When 
French besieged it, Marceau was here at this inn, 
and the cannon-ball pierced it several times. — There 
were 84 French officers here, when they would not 
believe the Cossacks would pass ; they had to fly as 
quick as horses could convey them, for the C[ossacks], 
getting into boats, made their horses swim across. 
C[ossack]s rascals — ate and drank and never paid. 
The general of them mean into the bargain ; for he 
sent the waiter in search of a louis he had never 
dropped, and went off. — A flying bridge in face 
of me. 


[Marceau died in 1796 of a wound received near 
Altenkirchen, at the age of only twenty-seven. High 
honours were paid to his remains both by his own 
army and by the Austrians whom he had been com- 
bating. Polidori passes rapidly from the affair of 
Marceau to that of eighty-four French officers and 
a body of Cossacks : but it is clear that these two 
matters have no real connexion : the latter must 
relate to 18 15 or 18 14. Byron devotes to Marceau 
two stanzas of Childe Harold — 

" By Coblentz, on a rise of gentle ground, 
There is a small and simple pyramid 
Crowning the summit of the verdant mound. 
Beneath its base are heroes' ashes hid, 
Our enemy's : but let not that forbid 
Honour to Marceau ; o'er whose early tomb 
Tears, big tears, gush'd from the rough soldier's lid, 
Lamenting and yet envying such a doom. 
Falling for France, whose rights he battled to resume. 

" Brief, brave, and glorious, was his young career," etc. 

General Hoche, although a separate monument to him 
was observed by Byron and Polidori, was in fact 
buried in the same tomb with Marceau. He died at 
Wetzlar in 1797, aged twenty-nine. It may be 
noticed that Byron (line 4) writes *' heroes'," plural, 
followed by " enemy's," singular. " Heroes' " must be 
intended for both Marceau and Hoche, and I suspect 
that " enemy's " is a misprint for " enemies'."] 


May 12. — Got up. Looked at the fine view, and 
went to the bath, which was at a maltster's — 30 
sous. Thence entered a Catholic church — organ — 
children singing, which had a fine effect. A copy of 
Rubens — lineal. Breakfasted. 

Mounted a caleche, and went to Marceau's monu- 
ment. The tomb of heroes made into a certain place 
very much expressed the flickering flame of fame. 
Thence to the Chartreuse : deserted, ruined, window- 
less, roofless, and tenantless — with another in sight in 
the same state. Plenty of reliefs on the roadside 
belonging to the Road to Calvary, an oratory on 
the hillside, where were many peasants bowing in 
reverence. Thence to the flying bridge managed 
by boats fastened in the stream with a rope, and 
by the rudder. 

Saw a motley group of peasants with their head- 
dresses of gold and crimson or green with the steel 
pin. Cocked hat, blue coat and stockinged heroes 
with a fork. Ofiicers, artillery-men, etc. ; crosses given 
apparently with as profuse a hand to the soldiers as 
to the roadside. 

Went to Ehrenbreitstein. Everything broken by 
gunpowder; immense masses of solid stone and 
mortar thrown fifty yards from their original situation ; 
ruined walls, gateways, and halls — nothing perfect. 
Splendid views thence — Coblentz, Rhine, Moselle 


with its bridge, mountains, cultivation, vines, wilder- 
ness, everything below my feet. Mounted again. 
Passed the Rhine in a boat (rowed), looking very 
like the Otaheitan canoes. Into the carriage — set 
off. Scenes increasing in sublimity. The road raised 
from the side of the river without parapet : two 
precipices coming to the road headlong. Indeed the 
river reaches foot to foot — splendid, splendid, splendid. 
Saw the fort belonging once to Muhrfrey, where he 
raised customs, and resisted in consequence sixty 
cities. Arrived at St. Goar. At the first post saw 
the people in church ; went to hear them sing — 

May 13. — Left St. Goar. Found scenery sublime 
to Bingen. Men with cocked hats and great buckles 
hacking at the vines. The scenery after Bingen 
gains in beauty what it loses in sublimity. Immense 
plain to the mounts, with the Rhine in medio, 
covered with trees, woods, and forests. Fine road to 
Mayence made by Nap[oleon] ; his name has been 
erased from the inscription on the column com- 
memorative of the work. Insolence of power ! 

Mayence a fine town, with a cathedral raised above 
it of red sandstone. Bavarians, Austrians, and Prus- 
sians, all in the town — belonging to all. The best 
town we have seen since Ghent. 

[Mayence was at this date, locally, in the Grand 


Duchy of Hesse : but as a fortress it appertained to 
the German Confederation, and was garrisoned by 
Austrians, Prussians, and Hessians (hardly perhaps 

One of our postillions blew a horn. Saw yesterday 
a beautiful appearance — two rainbows, one on the 
top of trees where the colours of the foliage pierced 
the rainbow-hues. 

Arrived at Mayence at 6J. Saw along the Rhine 
many fine old castles. This below is what L[ord] 
B[yron] wrote to Mrs. L[eigh] some days ago: 
written May 11 on Rhine-banks. See Childe 
Haroldy from " The Castled Crag of Drachenfels " to 
" Still sweeten more these Banks of Rhine." ^ 

May 14. — From Mayence, where I saw the spot 
where they said lately stood the house where printing 
was invented ; it had been pulled down by the French. 
The gallery I could not see, because the keeper had 
taken it into his head to make a promenade. Saw 
the cathedral, pierced at the roof by bombs in the 
last siege the town underwent. The reliefs — some 
of which were in a good style — many decapitated. 
There was a German marshal who was represented 
as gravely putting forth his powdered head from 

1 These are the precise words as they stand in Charlotte 
Polidori's transcript. It is to be presumed that Dr. Polidori 
wrote them some while after May 13, i8i6. 


under a tombstone he has just lifted up — ^with an 
inscription saying " I am here." 

From Mayence we went to Mannheim through a 
fine country. Crossed the Rhine on a bridge of 
boats. Taken very ill with a fever at Mannheim — 
could not write my Journal. 

May 15. — Being a little recovered, set off. Fine 
alleys of Lombardy-poplars and horse-chestnuts — 
neat villages. Entered Carlsruhe through a grove of 
Scotch firs and other trees that had a fine effect. 
Saw the Palace. 

Entered the inn, and was very ill. Took ipecac, 
and op. gr. 15. Headache, vertigo, tendency to faint- 
ing, etc. Magnesia and lemon acid — a little better, 
no effect. 

Went a drive about the town. Saw the neatest 
town we have yet met with : the only objection is the 
houses stuccoed white — bad for the eyes. Saw the 
outside of the Palace, and went into the garden laid 
out in the English manner. 

Went home : dreadful headaches : ate some stewed 
apples ; took some more magn[esia] and acid ; had no 
effect ; lay down ; got up after two hours. Was just 
going out when L[ord] B[yron] came to take from 
my hand a plated candlestick, to give me a brass one. 
Got on a few steps; fainted. My fall brought the 
servants to me. Took 4 pills ; going out again, when 


L[ord] B[yron] made the servant put down the 
plated candlestick, to take up a brass one ; went 
to bed. 

[This, as Polidori evidently thought, was an odd 
incident, not easily accounted for. One cannot 
suppose that Byron simply aimed at humiliating or 
mortifying his physician. There must have been 
a candle in each candlestick ; and it is conceivable 
that the candle in the brass one was the longer, and 
therefore the more suitable for an invalid who might 
have needed it throughout the night.] 

Medicine had violent effect : better on the whole, 
though weak. 

Just as we were going out I met Sir C. Hunter at 
my chamber-door, who told me he had heard so bad 
an account of my positively dying that he came to 
enquire how I found myself. I asked him in. He 
took care to tell us he was a great friend of the 
Grand Duke, who had sent his groom of the stole 
(he called it stool) in search of lodgings for the 
worthy Mayor ;^ gave us a long sermon about 
rheumatism, routes, etc. ; left us. In the evening 
he sent in the Guide du Voyageur en les pays de 
r Europe J begging in return some of L[ord] B[yron's] 

1 I don't understand " Mayor " in this context : should it be 


Went out. Saw a church. Columns like firs — 
Corinthian, golden capitals : loaded everywhere with 
gilt, perhaps tawdry, but fine-tawdry. The environs 
are beautiful. Drove a great deal about : fine trees 
and fine cultivation. 

May 1 8. — From Carlsruhe to Offenberg; much 
better. Slept halfway : blinds down the other, so 
nothing to mention except fine trees, fine cocked 
hats, fine women, and yellow-coated postillions. 

May 19. — Set off from Offenberg; saw some scenes 
that pleased me much ; hills and clouds upon them ; 
woods with mists. Passed through Freiburg, where we 
saw the steeple pervious to the top with trellis-work 
showing the light, which had to my eyes a beautiful 

I think Charles, when he said, " The German for his 
horse," remembered the G[erman] postillions ; for they 
talk to theirs, and the horses on their part listen and 
seem to understand. The greater part of to-day I 
have found the ladies in a strange costume of short 
wide red petticoats with many folds, and a hat of 
straw as wide as a wheel. Arrived at Krolzingen to 
sleep. Left Krolzingen : got to a hill. Fine view 
thence : the Alps, the Rhine, the Jura mountains, 
and a fine plain before us — fine country. Crossed 
the Rhine, and were in Switzerland. The town upon 
unequal ground — some parts very high, and some 


low ; the greater part very narrow streets. After tea 
went to take a walk : went upon the Rhine bridge — 
upon a hill in the town [Bale presumably]. 

May 21. — Went to see a panorama of Thun, the 
first Swiss one : crowded foolishly with people, and 
too small. Saw a gallery that the artist had formed. 
A fine Raphael, not his ; a good Rembrandt, the first 
I saw historical ; a Circumcision ; a head of the 
caricaturist David ; two heads of Divinity ; a Christ 
and Virgin — mere pieces of flesh and drapery. 
Went to a marchand d'estampes. Saw there NelsorCs 
Deaths Chatham's ditto, and other pictures of England. 
The Dance of Death has been destroyed : but it was 
not Holbein's, but his restorer's. The collection is 
dispersed, that once was here, of his paintings. 

Agreed with a voiturier to take our carriages to 
Geneva in five days. Set off. Country increases 
from hills to mountains with great beauty. Passed 

through Lipstadt and came to . Went before 

supper to climb a hill where we found a goatherd 
who could not understand the French that asked for 
milk till it had the commentary, " We will pay for it." 
The scene was very fine : to the right, beautiful ; to 
the left, it had a tendency to sublimity ; on one side, 
hills covered to the top with trees ; on the other, 
mountains with bald pates. Came down. Found 
the servants playing at bowls. They were obliged to 


run the bowls along a narrow board to the men. 
Supper : read Arabian Nights ; went to bed. 

May 22. — Left at 9 ; passed the Jura moun- 
tains, where we saw some fine castellated scenery, 
and women ornamented strangely — amazingly short 
petticoats, not below the knee, with black crape 
rays round their heads that make them look 
very spidery. Soleure is a neat town with stone 
fortifications, and a clean church with fountains 
before it. The houses in this neighbourhood have 
a pleasing strange appearance on account of the 
roofs, which slant out on every side a great way. 
Immense number of Scotch firs — roads fine. Voi- 
turiers slow, and have eight francs of drink-money a 
day, being two ; which being too much according 
to the Guide du Voyageur en Europe^ where it is 
said \\ fr., we showed it to our courier, who was 

in a passion. Came to , where we slept. 

May 23. — Left : got a sight of some fine 

Alpine snow-capped mountains. Came to Berne ; 
delightfully situated ; beautiful streets with arcades 
all their length. Dined there. Saw a splendidly 
beautiful view coming down a hill, with hills covered 
with fir, ash, beech, and all the catalogue of trees ; 
Morat at the bottom, and the Jura mounts behind, 
with snowy hair and cloudy night-caps. Arrived 
at Morat ; neat with arcades. Stopped at the Crown 


inn. All the way had debates whether clouds were 
mountains, or mountains clouds. 

May 24. — The innkeeper at Morat, being a little 
tipsy, and thinking every Englishman (being a 
philosophe) must be a philosophe like himself, 
favoured us with some of his infidel notions while 
serving us at supper. Near Morat was fought the 
battle wherein the Burgundians were so completely 
thrashed. Their bones, of which we took pieces, 
are now very few ; once they formed a mighty 
heap in the chapel, but both were destroyed by 
the Burgundian division when in Switzerland, and 
a tree of liberty was planted over it, which yet 
flourishes in all its verdure — the liberty has flown 
from the planters' grasp. Saw Aventicum ; there 
remains sufficient of the walls to trace the boundaries 
of the ancient town ; but of all the buildings, both 
for Gods and men, nothing but a column remains, 
and that the only remnant for more than a hundred 
years. There are mosaic pavements, and even the 
streets may be perceived in a dry summer by the 
grass being thinner. The mosaic in a barn, probably 
once of a temple, was pretty perfect till the Gallic 
cavalry came and turned it into a stable. It is 
formed of little pieces of black, white, and red bricks ; 
little now remains. There was also a copper vessel 
in the middle ; that too has disappeared. The town 


is shamefully negligent of the antiquities of their 
fathers, for there is another more beautiful and per- 
fect mosaic pavement discovered, but which they have 
allowed the proprietor to cover again with mould 
rather than buy it. We found in a barn heads, 
plinths, capitals, and shafts, heaped promiscuously. 
The Corinthian-column capital is deeply, sharply, and 
beautifully cut. A head of Apollo in all the rude- 
ness of first art — a capital of a strange mixed order. 
There is the Amphitheatre, hollow yet pretty perfect, 
but no stonework visible ; overgrown with trees ; 
the size, my companion told me, was larger than 
common. In the town there were some beautiful 
fragments of ornament-sculpture incorporated in the 
walls ; all marble. In the walls of the church we 
sought in vain for the inscription that Mathison 
mentions to Julia Alpinula. 

[Both to Morat and to Aventicum (Avenches) 
Byron devotes some stanzas in Childe Harold, 63 to 
67 y and notes to correspond. Morat he terms " the 
proud, the patriot field." He speaks of the hoard 
of bones, and says : " I ventured to bring away as 
much as may have made a quarter of a hero," for 
" careful preservation." His reference to Aventicum 
and the inscription to Julia Alpinula reads rather 
curiously in the light of Polidori's avowal that 
" we sought in vain for the inscription." Byron's 


readers must always, I apprehend, have inferred the 

"By a lone wall a lonelier column rears 
A grey and grief-worn aspect of old days. 
'Tis the last remnant of the wreck of years, 
And looks as with the wild bewilder'd gaze 
Of one to stone converted by amaze, 
Yet still with consciousness : and there it stands, 
Making a marvel that it not decays, 
When the coeval pride of human hands, 

Levell'd Aventicum, hath strew'd her subject lands. 

" And there — oh sweet and sacred be the name ! — 
Julia, the daughter, the devoted, gave 
Her youth to Heaven : her heart, beneath a claim 
Nearest to Heaven's, broke o'er a father's grave. 
Justice is sworn 'gainst tears ; and hers would crave 
The life she lived in ; but the judge was just, — 
And then she died on him she could not save. 
Their tomb was simple, and without a bust, 
And held within their urn one mind, one heart, one dust. 

^ Byron's note runs thus : " Julia Alpinula, a young 
Aventian priestess, died soon after a vain endeavour 
to save her father, condemned to death as a traitor by 
Aulus Caecina. Her epitaph was discovered many 
years ago. It is thus : * Julia Alpinula hie jaceo. 
Infelicis patris infelix proles. Deae Aventiae Sacerdos. 
Exorare patris necem non potui : Male mori in fatis 
illi erat. Vixi annos XXIII.' I know of no human 
composition so affecting as this, nor a history of 
greater interest. These are the names and actions," 


I copied the one below on account of its medical 
tendency. The letters in this as well as in all the 
other inscriptions are formed like our Roman print, 
not in the least imperfect : " Nvminib. Avg. et Genio 
Col. I. El. Apollini Sagr. 9. Postum Hermes lib. 
Medicis et Professorib, D.S.D." 

From Aventicum or Avenches we went to Payerne. 
We have seen in many places boys leading goats just 
in the antique style. Thence we went to Moudon 
— dirty town. Stopped for refreshments. One fine 
view we have had all the way, but nothing equal to 
the view descending to Morat. 

Darkness came on. We saw the Castle wherein 

defended himself against the French who 

besieged it for a month : looks so weak, it seems a 
wonder. The Swiss castles are not nearly so in- 
teresting as the Rhine ones. They are very conical- 
roofed and no battlements. We saw the lake, but 
for a long time doubted whether it was a cloud 
below, a mist before, or water beneath us. Entered 

May 25. — Left Lausanne, after having looked at a 
bookseller's, who showed me a fine collection of 
bad books for four louis. Enquired for Dewar : 
name not known. We went along the lake, that a 
little disappointed me, as it does not seem so broad 
as it really is, and the mountains near it, though 


covered with snow, have not a great appearance on 
account of the height [of the] lake itself. We saw 
Mont Blanc in the distance ; ethereal in appearance, 
mingling with the clouds ; it is more than 60 miles 
from where we saw it. It is a classic ground we go 
over. Buonaparte, Joseph, Bonnet, Necker, Stael, 
Voltaire, Rousseau, all have their villas (except 
Rousseau). Genthoud, Ferney, Coppet, are close 
to the road. 

[Perhaps some readers may need to be reminded 
who Bonnet was. He was a great physicist, both 
practical and speculative, Charles Bonnet, author of a 
Traits d'Insectologie, a Traite de Vusage des Feuilles, 
Contemplations de la Nature^ Palingenesie Philosophiquey 
and other works. Born in Geneva in 1720, he died 
in 1793.] 

^We arrived at S^cheron — where L[ord B[yron], 
having put his age down as 100, received a letter 
half-an-hour after from I[nn] K[eeper?] — a thing 
that seems worthy of a novel. It begins again to 
be the land of the vine. Women, who till the Pays 
de Vaud were ugly, improving greatly. 

May 26. — After breakfast, and having made up the 
accounts to to-day, and having heard that the voi- 
turiers made a claim of drink-money all the way 
back, we ordered a caleche ; but, happening to go 
into the garden, we saw a boat, into which entering, 


we pushed out upon the Leman Lake. After rowing 
some time, happening to come to the ferry, we found 
the waiter with a direful look to tell us that it was 
pris pour un monsieur Anglais^ who happened to be 

} We got another, and went out to bathe, 

I rode first with L[ord] B[yron] upon the field of 
Waterloo ; walked first to see Churchill's tomb ; 
bathed and rowed first on the Leman Lake. — It did 
us much good. Dined ; entered the caleche ; drove 
through Geneva, where I saw an effect of building that 
pleased me : it was porticoes from the very roof of 
the high houses to the bottom. 

Went to the house beyond Cologny that belonged 
to Diodati. They ask five-and-twenty louis for it a 
month. Narrow, not true. The view from his house 
is very fine ; beautiful lake ; at the bottom of the 
crescent is Geneva. Returned. Pictet called, but 
L[ord] B[yron] said " not at home." 

[There were two Genevan Pictets at this date, both 
public men of some mark. One was Jean Marc Jules 
Pictet de Sergy, 1768 to 1828 ; the other, the Chevalier 
Marc Auguste Pictet, 1752 to 1825. As Polidori 
speaks farther on of Pictet as being aged about forty- 
six, the former would appear to be meant. He had 

^ No name is given : should it be Shelley ? Another English- 
man who was in this locality towards the same date was Robert 


been in Napoleon's legislative chamber from i8cx) to 
1 815, and was afterwards a member of the representa- 
tive council of Geneva. — The Villa Diodati was the 
house where Milton, in 1639, had visited Dr. John 
Diodati, a Genevese Professor of Theology. Polidori's 
compact phrase, " narrow, not true," is by no means 
clear ; perhaps he means that some one had warned 
him that the Villa Diodati (called also the Villa Belle 
Rive) was inconveniently narrow, but, on inspecting 
the premises, he found the statement incorrect.] 

May 27. — Got up; went about a boat; got one for 
3 fr. a day ; rowed to S^cheron. Breakfasted. Got 
into a carriage. Went to Banker's, who changed our 
money, and afterwards left his card. To Pictet — not 
at home. Home, and looked at accounts : bad temper 
on my side. Went into the boat, rowed across to Dio- 
darti ; cannot have it for three years ; English family. 
Crossed again ; I went ; L[ord] B[yron] back. Get- 
ting out, L[ord] B[yron] met M[ary] Wollstonecraft 
Godwin, her sister, and Percy Shelley. I got into the 
boat into the middle of Leman Lake, and there lay 
my length, letting the boat go its way. 

[Here I find it difficult to understand the phrase — 
" Cannot have it (Villa Diodati) for three years — 
English family." It must apparently mean either that 
an English family were occupying or had bespoken 
Villa Diodati, and would remain there for three years 


to come (which is in conflict with the fact that Byron 
soon afterwards became the tenant); or else that 
Byron thought of renting it for a term as long as three 
years, which was barred by the previous claim of some 
English family. On the whole, the latter supposition 
seems to me the more feasible ; but one is surprised 
to think that Byron had any — even remote — idea of 
remaining near Geneva for any such great length of 
time. This sets one's mind speculating about Miss 
Clairmont, with whom (as is well known) Byron's 
amour had begun before he left London, and who had 
now just arrived to join him at Secheron ; had he at 
this time any notion of settling down with her in the 
neighbourhood for three years, more or less ? It is a 
curious point to consider for us who know how rapidly 
he discarded her, and how harshly he treated her ever 
afterwards. Miss Clairmont, we see, was now already 
on the spot, along with Percy and Mary Shelley ; in 
fact, as we learn from other sources, they had arrived 
at Sdcheron, Dejean's Hotel de I'Angleterre, as far 
back as May i8, or perhaps May 15 — and Byron now 
for the first time encountered the three. It appears 
that he must have met Mary Godwin in London, 
probably only once — not to speak of Clare. Shelley, 
to the best of our information, he had never till now 
seen at all. Polidori here terms Clare Clairmont the 
" sister " of " M. WoUstonecraft Godwin " ; and in 


the entry for May 29 he even applies the name 
Wollstonecraft Godwin to Clare ; and it will be found 
as we proceed that for some little while he really 
supposed the two ladies to be sisters in the right sense 
of the term, both of them bearing the surname of 
Godwin. In point of fact, there was no blood-relation- 
ship — Mary being the daughter of Mr. and the first 
Mrs. Godwin, and Clare the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. 
Clairmont. It may be as well to add that the letters 
addressed by Miss Clairmont to Byron, before they 
actually met in London, have now (1904) been 
published in The Works of Lord Byron, Letters and 
Journals, vol. iii, pp. 429-437 ; and they certainly 
exhibit a degree of forwardness and importunity which 
accounts in some measure for his eventual antipathy to 

^Found letter from De Roche inviting me to break- 
fast to-morrow ; curious with regard to L[ord] B[yron]. 
Dined ; P[ercy] S[helley], the author of Queen Mab, 
came ; bashful, shy, consumptive ; twenty-six ; sepa- 
rated from his wife ; keeps the two daughters of God- 
win, who practise his theories ; one L[ord] B[yron] s. 

[This is a very noticeable jotting. Shelley appears 
to have come in alone on this occasion, and we may 
infer that some very confidential talk ensued between 
him and Byron, in the presence of Polidori. He was 
not at this date really twenty-six years of age, but 


only twenty-three. "Bashful, shy," is an amusingly 
simple description of him. As to " consumptive," we 
know that Shelley left England under the impression 
that consumption had him in its grip, but this hardly 
appears to have been truly the case. Polidori, as a 
medical man, might have been expected to express 
some doubt on the subject, unless the poet's outward 
appearance looked consumptive. Next we hear that 
Shelley "keeps the two daughters of Godwin, who 
practise his theories" — i.e. set the marriage-laws at 
defiance, or act upon the principle of free love. One 
might suppose, from this phrase, that Polidori believed 
Shelley to be the accepted lover of Miss Clairmont as 
well as of Mary Godwin ; but the addition of those 
very significant words — "One, Lord Byron's" — tells 
in the opposite direction. These words can only 
mean (what was the fact) that one of these ladies, viz. 
Miss Clairmont, was Lord Byron's mistress. There- 
fore Polidori, in saying that Shelley " kept the two 
daughters of Godwin," may presumably have meant 
that he housed and maintained Clare, while he was 
the quasiAwxsh^-^di of Mary. Whether Polidori now 
for the first time learned, from the conversation of 
Byron and Shelley, what was the relation subsisting 
between Clare and Byron, or whether Byron had at 
some earlier date imparted the facts to him, is a 
question which must remain unsolved. The latter 


appears to me extremely probable ; for Byron had 
certainly arranged to meet Clare near Geneva, and he 
may very likely have given the requisite notice before- 
hand to his travelling physician and daily associate. 
My aunt Charlotte Polidori was not an adept in 
Shelleian detail : if she had been, I fear that these 
sentences would have shocked her sense of propriety, 
and they would have been left uncopied. They form 
the only passage in her transcript which bears in any 
way upon the amour between Lord Byron and Miss 
Clairmont ; to the best of my recollection and belief 
there was not in the original Diary any other passage 
pointing in the same direction. — I may observe here 
that there is nothing in Polidori's Journal to show 
that the Shelley party were staying in the same 
Secheron hotel with Lord Byron. Professor Dowden 
says that they were — I suppose with some sufficient 
authority ; and I think other biographers in general 
have assumed the same.] 

Into the caleche ; horloger s at Geneva ; L[ord] 
B[yron] paid 15 nap. towards a watch; I, 13: 
repeater and minute-hand ; foolish watch. 

[This means (as one of Polidori's letters shows) 
that Byron made him a present of £1$ towards 
the price of the watch.] 

Went to see the house of Madame Necker, 100 
a half-year ; came home, etc. 


May 28. — Went to Geneva, to breakfast with 
Dr. De Roche ; acute, sensible, a listener to himself; 
good clear head. Told me that armies on their 
march induce a fever (by their accumulation of 
animal dirt, irregular regimen) of the most malig- 
nant typhoid kind ; it is epidemic. There was a 
whole feverish line from Moscow to Metz, and it 
spread at Geneva the only almost epidemic typhus 
for many years. He is occupied in the erection of 
Lancaster schools, which he says succeed well. He 
is a Louis Bourbonist. He told me my fever was 
not an uncommon one among travellers. He came 
home with me, and we had a chat with L[ord] 
B[yron] ; chiefly politics, where of course we differed. 
He had a system well worked out, but I hope only 
hypothetical, about liberty of the French being 
Machiavellianly not desirable by Europe. He pointed 
out Dumont in the court, the redacteur of Bentham. 

Found a letter from Necker to the hotel-master, 
asking 100 nap. for three months ; and another 
from Pictet inviting L[ord] B[yron] and any friend 
to go with him at 8 to Madame Einard, a connection 
of his. We then, ascending our car, went to see 
some other houses, none suiting. 

When we returned home, Mr. Percy Shelley came 
in to ask us to dinner ; declined ; engaged for to- 
morrow. We walked with him, and got into his 


boat, though the wind raised a little sea upon the lake. 
Dined at four. Mr. Hentsch, the banker, came in ; 
very polite ; told L[ord] B[yron] that, when he saw 
him yesterday, he had not an idea that he was 
speaking to one of the most famous lords of England. 

Dressed and went to Pictet's : an oldish man, about 
forty-six, tall, well-looking, speaks English well. His 
daughter showed us a picture, by a young female 
artist, of Madame Lavalliere in the chapel ; well 
executed in pencil — good lights and a lusciously 
grieving expression. 

Went to Madame Einard. Introduced to a room 
where about 8 (afterwards 20), 2 ladies (i more). 
L[ord] B[yron]'s name was alone mentioned ; mine, 
like a star in the halo of the moon, invisible. L[ord] 
B[yron] not speaking French, M. Einard spoke bad 
Italian. A Signor Rossi came in, who had joined 
Murat at Bologna. Manly in thought ; admired 
Dante as a poet more than Ariosto, and a discussion 
about manliness in a language. Told me Geneva 
women amazingly chaste even in thoughts. Saw 
the Lavalliere artist. A bonny, rosy, seventy-yeared 
man, called Bonstetten, the beloved of Gray and the 
correspondent of Mathison. 

[I find "40" in the MS.: apparently it ought to 
be "70," for Bonstetten was born in 1745. He lived 
on till 1832. Charles Victor de Bonstetten was a 


Bernese nobleman who had gone through various 
vicissitudes of opinion and adventure, travelling in 
England and elsewhere. To Englishmen (as indi- 
cated in Polidori's remark) he is best known as a 
friend of the poet Thomas Gray, whom he met in 
1769. He said: "Jamais je n'ai vu personne qui 
donnat autant que Gray I'idee d'un gentleman ac- 
compli." Among the chief writings of Bonstetten 
are Recherches sur la Nature et les Lois de V Imagina- 
tion ; Etudes d'Hommes; L' Homme du Midi et 
r Homme du Nord.'] 

Madame Einard made tea, and left all to take 
sugar with the fingers. Madame Einard showed some 
historical pieces of her doing in acquerella, really good, 
a little too French-gracish. Obliged to leave before 
ten for the gates shut. Came home, went to bed. 

Was introduced by Shelley to Mary WoUstone- 
craft Godwin, called here Mrs. Shelley. Saw picture 
by Madame Einard of a cave in the Jura where in 
winter there is no ice, in summer plenty. No names 
announced, no ceremony — each speaks to whom he 
pleases. Saw the bust of Jean Jacques erected upon 
the spot where the Geneva magistrates were shot. 
L[ord] B[yron] said it was probably built of some 
of the stones with which they pelted him.^ The 

^ I don't think there was any such stone-pelting in Geneva : 
it took place elsewhere in Switzerland. 


walk is deserted. They are now mending their 
roads. Formerly they could not, because the 
municipal money always went to the public box. 

May 29. — Went with Mr. Hentsch to see some 
houses along the valley in which runs the Rhone : 
nothing. Dined with Mr. and Mrs. Percy Shelley 
and Wollstonecraft Godwin. Hentsch told us that 
the English last year exported corn to Italy to a 
great amount. 

May 30. — Got up late. Went to Mr. and Mrs. 
Shelley ; breakfasted with them ; rowed out to see 
a house together. S[helley] went from Lucerne with 
the two, with merely £26, to England along the 
Rhine in bateaux. Gone through much misery, 
thinking he was dying ; married a girl for the mere 
sake of letting her have the jointure that would 
accrue to her ; recovered ; found he could not agree ; 
separated ; paid Godwin's debts, and seduced his 
daughter ; then wondered that he would not see him. 
The sister left the father to go with the other. Got 
a child. All clever, and no meretricious appearance. 
He is very clever ; the more I read his Queen Mab^ 
the more beauties I find. Published at fourteen a 
novel; got ^^30 for it; by his second work ;^ioo. 
Mab not published. — Went in caleche with L[ord] 
B[yron] to see a house ; again after dinner to leave 
cards ; then on lake with L[ord] B[yron]. I, Mrs 


S[helley], and Miss G[odwin], on to the lake till 
nine. Drank tea, and came away at ii after con- 
fabbing. The batelier went to Shelley, and asked 
him as a favour not to tell L[ord] B[yron] what he 
gave for his boat, as he thought it quite fit that 
Milord's payment be double ; we sent Berger to say 
we did not wish for the boat. 

[The statement that "Shelley went from Lucerne 
with the two, with merely £26^ to England, along 
the Rhine in bateaux," refers of course to what had 
taken place in 18 14, on the occasion of Shelley's 
elopement with Mary Godwin, and has no bearing 
on the transactions of 18 16; it must be cited by 
Polidori as showing how inexpensively three persons 
could, if so minded, travel from Switzerland to Eng- 
land. The other references to Shelley's domestic 
affairs etc. are very curious. Except as to his own 
personal admiration for Queen Mab, Polidori is here 
evidently putting down (but not in the words of 
Shelley himself, who would assuredly not have said 
that he had "seduced" Mary Godwin) such details 
as the poet imparted to him. They are far from 
accurate. To some extent, Polidori may have re- 
membered imperfectly what Shelley told him, but 
I think the latter must have been responsible for 
most of the fables ; and generally it would appear 
that Shelley gave free rein to his inclination for 


romancing or for over-stating matters, possibly per- 
ceiving that Polidori was credulous, and capable of 
swallowing whatever he was told, the more eccentric 
the better. To say that Shelley, before he, at the 
age of barely 19, married Harriet Westbrook in 
181 1, thought that he was dying, and that his only 
practical motive for marrying her was that she might 
come in for a jointure after his decease, is no doubt 
highly fallacious, and even absurd. We have other 
sources of information as to these occurrences, especi- 
ally the letters of Shelley addressed at the time to 
Jefferson Hogg, and they tell a very different tale. 
As to his reason for separating from Harriet, Shelley, 
we perceive, simply told Polidori that he " found he 
could not agree " with her ; he said nothing as to 
his knowing or supposing that she had been unfaith- 
ful to him. Again, Shelley was not so boyish as 
14 when he published a novel — his first novel, the 
egregious Zastrozzi ; the publication took place in 
1 8 10, when he was eighteen, or at lowest seventeen. 
The statement that he got ;^ioo by "his second 
work " is worth considering. If " his second work " 
means, as one might naturally suppose in this 
connexion, the romance of St. Irvyne^ the sug- 
gestion that he got anything at all by it, except a 
state of indebtedness, is a novelty. But our mind 
recurs to that rumoured and apparently really- 


published though wholly untraced work of his, A 
Poetical Essay on the Existing State of Things. This 
poem was published, we are told, for the benefit of 
an Irish agitator or patriot, Peter Finnerty, and it 
has been elsewhere averred that the publication pro- 
duced a sum of nearly ;^ioo. The mention by 
Polidori of ;£"ioo may be surmised to refer to the 
same matter, and it tends so far to confirm the idea 
that the book really existed, and even secured a 
fair measure of success. — Berger (who is named in 
connexion with Byron and the hire for the boat) 
was, as already noted, the Swiss servant of Byron, 
brought from London.] 

May 31. — Breakfasted with Shelley; read Italian 
with Mrs. S[helley] ; dined ; went into a boat with Mrs. 
S[helley], and rowed all night till 9 ; tea'd together ; 
chatted, etc. 

June I. — Breakfasted with S[helley]; entered a 
caleche ; took Necker's house for 100 louis for 8 or 
365 days. Saw several houses for Shelley ; one good. 
Dined ; went in the boat ; all tea'd together. 

[Necker's house, here mentioned, would apparently 
be the same as the Villa Diodati, or Villa Belle Rive 
— for that is the house which Byron did in fact rent. 
" Necker " may be understood as meaning (rather 
than the famous Minister of Finance in France) his 
widow, since Necker himself had died a dozen years 


before. The sum of loo louis seems to be specified 
here as the rent for a year, and the phrase about 8 
days must indicate that the house could be tenanted 
for that short space of time — or let us say a week — at 
a proportionate payment. This rate of rental appears 
low, and it differs both from what was said under the 
date of May 26, and from what we shall find noted 
shortly afterwards, June 6. Thus I feel a little doubt 
whether " Necker's house " is not in reality something 
quite different from the Villa Diodati. Byron's 
proposed tenancy of the former might possibly have 
been cancelled.] 

Rogers the subject : L[or]d B[yron] thinks good 
poet ; malicious. Marquis of Lansdowne being praised 
by a whole company as a happy man, having all good, 
R[ogers] said, " But how horridly he carves turbot ! " 
Ward having reviewed his poems in the Quarterly^ 
having a bad heart and being accused of learning his 
speeches, L[ord] B[yron], upon malignantly hinting 
to him [Rogers] how he had been carved, heard him 
say : " I stopped his speaking though by my epigram, 
which is — 

" * Ward has no heart, they say, but I deny it ; 
He has a heart, and gets his speeches by it.'" 

[This must be the Honourable John William Ward, 
who was created Earl of Dudley in 1827, and died in 
1833. Miss Berry, the ^««j/-adopted daughter of 


Horace Walpole, told Madame de Stael in 1813 that 
the latter had "undertaken two miracles — to make 
Ward poli envers les/emmes et pieux envers Dzeu."'\ 

On L[ord] B[yron's] writing a poem to his sister 
wherein he says, " And when friends e'en paused and 
love," etc., Rogers, going to some one, said : " I don't 
know what L[ord] B[yron] means by pausing ; I 
called upon him every day." He did this regularly, 
telling L[ord] B[yron] all the bad news with a malig- 
nant grin. When L[ord] B[yron] wrote "Weep, 
daughter of a royal line," Rogers came to him one 
day, and, taking up the Courier, said : " I am sure 
now you're attacked there ; now don't mind them " ; 
and began reading, looking every now and then at 
L[ord] B[yron] with an anxious searching eye, till he 
came to "that little poet and disagreeable person, 
Mr. Samuel — '* when he tore the paper, and said : 
" Now this must be that fellow Croker," and wished 
L[ord] B[yron] to challenge him. He talked of going 
to Cumberland with L[ord] B[yron], and, asking him 
how he meant to travel, L[ord] B[yron] said "With 
four horses." Rogers went to company, and said : 
" It is strange to hear a man talking of four horses 
who seals his letters with a tallow candle." 

Shelley is another instance of wealth inducing 
relations to confine for madness, and was only saved 
by his physician being honest. He was betrothed 


from a boy to his cousin, for age ; another came who 
had as much as he would have, and she left him 
" because he was an atheist." When starving, a friend 
to whom he had given ;^2000, though he knew it, would 
not come near him. Heard Mrs. Shelley repeat 
Coleridge on Pitt, which persuades me he is a poet. 

[Here we see that Shelley must have repeated to 
Polidori that famous story of his about the attempt 
of his father to consign him, when he was an Eton 
student, to a madhouse, and about the zealous and 
ultimately successful effort of Dr. Lind, the Eton 
physicist, to save him from that disastrous fate. Next 
comes the statement that Shelley was betrothed from 
boyhood to his beautiful cousin Miss Harriet Grove — 
the marriage to take effect when he should attain his 
majority ; an account which we know to be substanti- 
ally true. The conduct of Miss Grove — or perhaps 
we should rather say of her parents as dictating her 
action — is placed in an unfavourable light ; for it is 
plainly suggested that she abandoned Shelley for 
another bridegroom on the ground of a more immediate 
advantage in worldly position — the allegation of 
Percy's atheism being more a pretext than a genuine 
motive. The passage about a friend to whom Shelley 
had given £2000 must (I suppose beyond a doubt) 
refer to Godwin ; but it is evident that Shelley, in 

speaking to Polidori, a comparative stranger, and this 


in the presence of Mary, had the delicacy to suppress 
the name. The charge thus alleged against Godwin 
is not, I conceive, accurate, although it approximated 
towards accuracy. I am not clear that Shelley, up to 
the time when he thus spoke in June 1816, had given 
Godwin money amounting to quite so large a total as 
;^2000 ; but at any rate he cannot have done so up to 
the time when he was himself "starving" — or, in 
milder terms, when he was in very great and harass- 
ing straits for money and daily subsistence. That 
time was late in 18 14, and in the first days of 181 5. 
It is true that, even before this date, he had done 
something to relieve Godwin ; but it was only, I think, 
in April 18 16 that he gave the philosopher a really 
very considerable sum — £1000 in a lump. I say all 
this for the sake of biographical truth, and not with a 
view to vindicating Godwin — whose policy of bleeding 
Shelley in purse while he cut him in person has in 
some recent years been denounced with increasing 
vehemence, and it was indeed wholly indefensible. 
But human nature — and especially the human nature 
of an abstract speculator like Godwin — is capable of 
very odd self-deceptions ; and I dare say Godwin 
thought he was equally and strictly right in both his 
proceedings — right in getting large sums of money 
out of Shelley, for a reforming sage ought to be sub- 
sidized by his neophytes — and right in repudiating 


and abusing Shelley, for the latter had applied 
Godwin's own anti-matrimonial theories to that one 
instance of practice which the philosopher did not at 
all relish. — To proceed to another point The lines 
of Coleridge on Pitt which Polidori heard recited by- 
Mrs. Shelley are to be sought for in his early poem 
entitled Fire^ Famine ^ and Slaughter. In that poem 
(need I say it ?) those three Infernal Deities are repre- 
sented as meeting in '* a desolated tract in La Vendee " ; 
and on mutual enquiry they learn that one and the 
same person has sent them thither all three. 

"Letters four do form his name" — 

the name Pitt. Famine and Slaughter finally agree 
that the multitude, exasperated by their sufferings, 
shall turn upon Pitt and rend him — 

^ " They shall tear him limb from limb ! " 

Fire, who has just come from doing Pitt's errands in 
Ireland, thinks this ungrateful : she concludes the 
poem with the memorable words — 

"Ninety months he, by my troth, 
Hath richly catered for you both : 
And in an hour would you repay 
An eight years' work ? — Away, away ! 
I alone am faithful — / 
Cling to him everlastingly?^ 

The poem would be well worth quoting here in full, 
but is somewhat too long for such a purpose,] 


A young girl of eighteen, handsome, died within 
half-an-hour yesterday : buried to-day. Geneva is 
fortified — legumes growing in the fosses. — Went 
about linen and plate. 

June 2. — Breakfasted with Shelley. Read Tasso 
with Mrs. Shelley. Took child for vaccination. 

[The child in question must seemingly have been 
the beloved infant William Shelley, born in January 
of this same year. Polidori does not appear to have 
vaccinated the boy with his own hand ; for I find in 
a letter of his written to his family towards June 20 : 
"Got a gold chain and a seal as a fee from an 
Englishman here for having his child inoculated." 
As Polidori speaks only of "an Englishman here," 
not naming Shelley, it looks as if he purposely with- 
held from his family the knowledge that he had come 
into contact with that wicked and dangerous char- 
acter. I wish I knew what has become of the 
" gold chain and seal," the gift of Shelley : but I 
could not on enquiry find that anything whatever 
was known about them by my then surviving 
relatives. I possess a letter on the subject, November 
4, 1890, from my sister Christina.] 

Found gates shut because of church-service. Went 
in search of Rossi. Saw a village where lads and lasses, 
soubrettes and soldiers, were dancing, to a tabor and 
drum, waltzes, cotillons, etc. Dr. R[ossi] not at home. 


Dined with S[helley] ; went to the lake with them 
and L[ord] B[yron]. Saw their house ; fine. Coming 
back, the sunset, the mountains on one side, a dark 
mass of outline on the other, trees, houses hardly- 
visible, just distinguishable ; a white light mist, rest- 
ing on the hills around, formed the blue into a 
circular dome bespangled with stars only and lighted 
by the moon which gilt the lake. The dome of 
heaven seemed oval. At 10 landed and drank tea. 
Madness, Grattan, Curran, etc., subjects. 

[The "house" of Shelley and his party which 
is here mentioned is the Campagne Chapuis, or 
Campagne Mont Alegre, near Cologny — distant 
from the Villa Diodati only about 8 minutes' walk. 
Shelley and the two ladies had entered this house 
towards the end of May, prior to the actual settle- 
ment of Lord Byron in the Villa Diodati. The 
Shelleys, as we have more than once heard from 
this Diary, kept up the practice of drinking tea — a 
beverage always cherished by Percy Bysshe. The 
topics of conversation, we observe, were madness — 
probably following on from what Shelley had on 
the previous day said about his own supposed 
madness while at Eton ; also Curran, whom Shelley 
had seen a little, but without any sympathy, in 
Dublin — and Grattan, who, so far as I am aware 
was not personally known to the poet.] 


June 3. — Went to Pictet's on English day. 

June 4. — Went about Diodati's house. Then to 
see Shelley, who, with Mrs. Shelley, came over. 
Went in the evening to a musical society of about 
ten members at M. Odier's ; who read a very in- 
teresting memoir upon the subject of whether a 
physician should in any case tell a lover the health 
[of the lady of his affections], or anything that, 
from being her physician, comes to his knowledge. 
Afterwards had tea and politics. Saw there a Dr. 
Gardner, whom I carried home in the caleche. Odier 
invited me for every Wednesday. 

Came home. Went on the lake with Shelley and 
Lord Byron, who quarrelled with me. 

[This might seem to be the matter to which Professor 
Dowden in his Life of Shelley (following Moore's Life 
of Byron and some other authorities) thus briefly 
refers. "Towards Shelley the Doctor's feeling was 
a constantly self-vexing jealousy [I cannot say 
that the Diary of Polidori has up to this point 
borne the least trace of any such soreness] ; and 
on one occasion, suffering from the cruel wrong of 
having been a loser in a sailing-match, he went so 
far as to send Shelley a challenge, which was received 
with a fit of becoming laughter. ' Recollect,' said 
Byron, * that, though Shelley has some scruples about 
duelling, I have none and shall be at all times ready 


to take his place.' " Professor Dowden does not define 
the date when this squabble occurred ; but the con- 
text in which he sets it suggests a date anterior to 
June 22, when Byron and Shelley started off on their 
week's excursion upon the Lake of Geneva. The 
very curt narrative of Polidori does not however in- 
dicate any sailing-match, nor any challenge, whether 
" sent " or verbally delivered at the moment ; and 
perhaps it may be more reasonable to suppose that 
this present quarrel with Byron was a different affair 
altogether — an instance when Polidori happened to 
strike Byron's knee with an oar. I shall recur to 
the duelling matter farther on.] 

June ^. — At 12 went to Hentsch about Diodati ; 
thence to Shelley's. Read Tasso. Home in caleche. 
Dined with them in the public room : walked in the 
garden. Then dressed, and to Odier's, who talked 
with me about somnambulism. Was at last seated, 
and conversed with some Genevoises : so so — too 
fine. Quantities of English ; speaking amongst 
themselves, arms by their sides, mouths open and 
eyes glowing ; might as well make a tour of the 
Isle of Dogs. Odier gave me yesterday many 
articles of Bibliotheque — translated and rediges by 
himself, and to-day a manuscript on somnambulism. 

[After the word Bibliotheque Charlotte Polidori has 
put some other word, evidently intended to imitate 


the look of the word written by Dr. Polidori : it can- 
not be read. The subject of somnambulism was one 
which had engaged Polidori's attention at an early- 
age : he printed in 1815 a Disputatio Medica Inaugu- 
ralis de Oneirodynia, as a thesis for the medical degree 
which he then obtained in Edinburgh.] 

June 6. — At i up — breakfasted. With Lord Byron 
in the caleche to Hentsch, where we got the paper 
making us masters of Diodati for six months to 
November i for 125 louis. 

[See my remarks under June i as to "Necker's 
house," and the rent to be paid. Up to November 
I would be barely five months, not six.] 

Thence to Shelley : back : dinner. To Shelley iti 
boat : driven on shore : home. Looked over inventory 
and Berger's accounts. Bed. 

June 7. — Up at . Pains in my loins and languor 

in my bones. Breakfasted — looked over inventory. 

Saw L[ord] B[yron] at dinner ; wrote to my father 
and Shelley ; went in the boat with L[ord] B[yron] ; 
agreed with boatman for English boat. Told us 
Napoleon had caused him to get his children. Saw 
Shelley over again. 

[It seems rather curious that Polidori, living so 
near Shelley, should now have had occasion to write 
to him ; ought we to infer that the challenge was 
now at last sent ? Perhaps so ; and perhaps, when 


Polidori " saw Shelley over again,'* the poet laughed 
the whole foolish matter off. — The boatman's state- 
ment that "Napoleon had caused him to get his 
children" means, I suppose, that he wanted to rear 
children, to meet Napoleon's conscriptions for 

June 8. — Up at 9 ; went to Geneva on horseback, 
and then to Diodati to see Shelley ; back ; dined ; 
into the new boat — Shelley's, — and talked, till the 
ladies' brains whizzed with giddiness, about idealism. 
Back ; rain ; puffs of wind. Mistake. 

June 9. — Up by i : breakfasted. Read Lucian. 
Dined. Did the same : tea'd. Went to Hentsch : 
came home. Looked at the moon, and ordered 

June 10. — Up at 9. Got things ready for going to 
Diodati ; settled accounts, etc. Left at 3 ; went to 
Diodati ; went back to dinner, and then returned. 
Shelley etc. came to tea, and we sat talking till 11. 
My rooms are so : 

Picture-gallery. 1 



June 1 1. — Wrote home and to Pryse Gordon. Read 
Lucian. Went to Shelley's ; dined ; Shelley in the 
evening with us. 


June 12. — Rode to town. Subscribed to a circulat- 
ing library, and went in the evening to Madame 
Odier. Found no one. Miss 0[dier], to make time 
pass, played the Ranz des Vaches — plaintive and war- 
like. People arrived. Had a confab with Dr. O. 
about perpanism,^ etc. Began dancing : waltzes, cotil- 
lons, French country-dances and English ones : first 
time I shook my feet to French measure. Ladies all 
waltzed except the English : they looked on frown- 
ing. Introduced to Mrs. Slaney : invited me for next 
night. You ask without introduction ; the girls refuse 
those they dislike. Till 12. Went and slept at the 

June 13. — Rode home, and to town again. Went 
to Mrs. Slaney : a ball. Danced and played at chess. 
Walked home in thunder and lightning: lost my 
way. Went back in search of some one — fell upon 
the police. Slept at the Balance. 

June 14. — Rode home — rode almost all day. Dined 
with Rossi, who came to us ; shrewd, quick, manly- 
minded fellow ; like him very much. Shelley etc. fell 
in in the evening. 

June 1 5. — Up late ; began my letters. Went to 
Shelley's. After dinner, jumping a wall my foot 

^ The word written is perpanism, or possibly perhanism. Is 
there any such word, medical or other ? Should it perchance be 
Pyrrhonism ? 


slipped and I strained my left ankle. Shelley etc. 
came in the evening ; talked of my play etc., which 
all agreed was worth nothing. Afterwards Shelley 
and I had a conversation about principles, — whether 
man was to be thought merely an instrument. 

[The accident to Polidori's ankle was related thus 
by Byron in a letter addressed from Ouchy to John 
Murray. " Dr. Polidori is not here, but at Diodati ; 
left behind in hospital with a sprained ankle, acquired 
in tumbling from a wall — he can't jump." Thomas 
Moore, in his Life of Byron^ supplies some details. 
" Mrs. Shelley was, after a shower of rain, walking up 
the hill to Diodati ; when Byron, who saw her from 
his balcony where he was standing with Polidori, said 
to the latter: ' Now you who wish to be gallant ought 
to jump down this small height, and offer your arm.* 
Polidori tried to do so ; but, the ground being wet, 
his foot slipped and he sprained his ankle. Byron 
helped to carry him in, and, after he was laid on the 
sofa, went up-stairs to fetch a pillow for him. * Well, 
I did not believe you had so much feeling,' was 
Polidori's ungracious remark." 

The play written by Polidori, which received so 
little commendation, was, I suppose, the Cajetan which 
is mentioned at an early point in the Journal. There 
was another named Boadicea, in prose ; very poor 
stuff, and I suppose written at an early date. A 


different drama named Ximenes was afterwards pub- 
lished : certainly its merit — whether as a drama or as 
a specimen of poetic writing — is slender. The con- 
versation between Shelley and Polidori about " prin- 
ciples " and " whether man was to be thought merely 
an instrument " appears to have some considerable 
analogy with a conversation to which Mary Shelley 
and Professor Dowden refer, and which raised in her 
mind a train of thought conducing to her invention 
of Frankenstein and his Man-monster. Mary, however, 
speaks of Byron (not Polidori) as the person who 
conversed with Shelley on that occasion. Professor 
Dowden, paraphrasing some remarks made by Mary, 
says : " One night she sat listening to a conversation 
between the two poets at Diodati. What was the 
nature, they questioned, of the principle of life ? 
Would it ever be discovered, and the power of com- 
municating life be acquired ? Perhaps a corpse would 
be reanimated ; galvanism had given token of such 
things. That night Mary lay sleepless," etc.] 

June 1 6. — Laid up. Shelley came, and dined and 
slept here, with Mrs. S[helley] and Miss Clare 
Clairmont. Wrote another letter. 

[This is the first instance in which the name of Miss 
Clairmont is given correctly by Polidori ; but it may be 
presumed that he had, several days back, found out that 
she was not properly to be termed " Miss Godwin."] 


June 17. — Went into the town ; dined with Shelley 
etc. here. Went after dinner to a ball at Madame 
Odier's; where I was introduced to Princess Something 
and Countess Potocka, Poles, and had with them 
a long confab. Attempted to dance, but felt such 
horrid pain was forced to stop. The ghost-stories 
are begun by all but me. 

[This date serves to rectify a small point in literary 
history. We all know that the party at Cologny — 
consisting of Byron and Polidori on the one hand, 
and of Shelley and Mrs. Shelley and Miss Clairmont 
on the other — undertook to write each of them an 
independent ghost-story, or story of the supernatural ; 
the result being Byron's fragment of The Vampyre^ 
Polidori's complete story of The Vampyre^ and Mrs. 
Shelley's renowned Frankenstein. Shelley and Miss 
Clairmont proved defaulters. It used to be said that 
Matthew Gregory Lewis, author of The Monk, had 
been mixed up in the same project; but this is a 
mistake, for Lewis only reached the Villa Diodati 
towards the middle of August. Professor Dowden 
states as follows : " During a few days of ungenial 
weather which confined them to the house [by " them " 
Shelley and the two ladies are evidently meant, and 
perhaps also Byron and Polidori] some volumes of 
ghost -stories, Fantasmagoriana, ou Recueil cT Histoires 
d' Apparitions, de Spectres, Revenans, etc. (a collection 


translated into French from the German) fell into 
their hands, and its perusal probably excited and 
overstrained Shelley's imagination." Professor Dow- 
den then proceeds to narrate an incident connected 
with Coleridge's Christabel, of which more anon ; and 
he says that immediately after that incident Byron 
proposed, " We will each write a ghost-story " — a 
suggestion to which the others assented. It is only 
fair to observe that Professor Dowden's account corre- 
sponds with that which Polidori himself supplied in the 
proem to his tale of The Vampyre, But Polidori's 
Diary proves that this is not absolutely correct. 
The ghost-stories (prompted by the Fantasmagoriana^ 
a poor sort of book) had already been begun by Byron, 
Shelley, Mrs. Shelley, and Miss Clairmont, not later 
than June 17, whereas the Christaber\nc\6.&vi\. happened 
on June 18. Byron's story, as I have already said, 
was The Vampyre^ left a fragment ; Shelley's is stated 
to have been some tale founded on his own early 
experiences — nothing farther is known of it ; Mrs. 
Shelley's was eventually Frankenstein^ but, from the 
details which have been published as to the first con- 
ception of this work, we must assume that what she 
had begun by June 17 was something different : of 
Miss Clairmont's story no sort of record remains. 

The Countess Potocka, whom Polidori m.entlons, 
was a lady belonging to the highest Polish nobility. 


grand-niece of Stanislaus Augustus Poniatovvski, 
who had been King of Poland up to 1798. She 
was daughter of Count Tyszkiewicz, and married 
Count Potocki, and afterwards Count Wonsowicz. 
Born in 1776, she lived on to 1867, when she died 
in Paris, a leader of society under the Second Empire. 
Thus she was forty years old when Polidori saw 
her. She wrote memoirs of her life, going up to 
1820 : a rather entertaining book, dealing with many 
important transactions, especially of the period of 
Napoleon I : she gives one to understand that this 
supreme potentate was rather susceptible to her 
charms, but a rival compatriot, the Countess Wa- 
lewska, was then in the ascendant. I have seen 
reproductions from two portraits of the Countess 
Potocka, both of them ascribed to Angelica Kauff- 
ma"n : one of these shows a strikingly handsome 
young woman, with dark eyes of singular brilliancy 
and sentiment. Its date cannot be later than 1807, 
when the painter died, and may probably be as 
early as 1800.] 

June 18. — My leg much worse. Shelley and party 
here. Mrs. S[helley] called me her brother (younger). 
Began my ghost-story^ after tea. Twelve o'clock, 

1 The "ghost-story" which Polidori published was The 
Vampyre\ see p. 128 as to his having begun in the first in- 
stance some different story. 


really began to talk ghostly. L[oid] B[yron] re- 
peated some verses of Coleridge's Christabel, of the 
witch's breast ; when silence ensued, and Shelley, 
suddenly shrieking and putting his hands to his head, 
ran out of the room with a candle. Threw water in 
his face, and after gave him ether. He was looking 
at Mrs. S[helley], and suddenly thought of a woman 
he had heard of who had eyes instead of nipples, 
which, taking hold of his mind, horrified him. — He 
married ; and, a friend of his liking his wife, he tried 
all he could to induce her to love him in turn. He is 
surrounded by friends who feed upon him, and draw 
upon him as their banker. Once, having hired a 
house, a man wanted to make him pay more, and 
came trying to bully him, and at last challenged him. 
Shelley refused, and was knocked down ; coolly said 
that would not gain him his object, and was knocked 
down again. — Slaney called. 

[Some of these statements are passing strange, and 
most of them call for a little comment. First we 
hear that Mrs. Shelley called Polidori her younger 
brother — a designation which may have been endear- 
ing but was not accurate ; for, whereas the doctor was 
aged 20 at this date, Mrs. Shelley was aged only 18. 
Next, Polidori, after tea, began his ghost-story. This, 
according to Mrs. Shelley, was a tale about " a skull- 
headed lady, who was so punished for peeping through 


a keyhole — what to see, I forget; something very 
shocking and wrong, of course." So says Mrs. 
Shelley : but Polidori's own statement is that the tale 
which he at first began was the one published under 
the title of Ernestus Berchtold, which contains nothing 
about a skull-headed lady : some details are given in 
my Introduction. Afterwards he took up the notion 
of a vampyre, when relinquished by Byron. The 
original story, Ernestus Berchtold, may possibly have 
been completed in 18 16 : at any rate it was completed 
at some time, and published in 18 19, soon after The 
Vampyre. Then comes the incident (first published 
in my edition of Shelley's poems in 1870) of Byron 
repeating some lines from Christabel, and Shelley, 
who mixed them up with some fantastic idea already 
present to his mind, decamping with a shriek. The 
lines from Christabel are these — 

" Then drawing in her breath aloud, 
Like one that shuddered, she unbound 
The cincture from beneath her breast : 
Her silken robe and inner vest 
Dropped to her feet, and full in view 
Behold ! her bosom and half her side. 
Hideous, deformed, and pale of hue — 
A sight to dream of, not to tell ! 
And she is to sleep by Christabel ! " 

From this incident Polidori proceeds to three state- 
ments regarding occurrences in Shelley's life ; it 
may be presumed that he had heard them from the 


poet in the course of this same evening. " A friend 
of his Hking his wife, he tried all he could to induce 
her to love him in turn." Nothing of this sort appears 
in the authenticated facts of Shelley's life. It is 
certain that, very soon after he had married Harriet 
Westbrook in 1811, hesaw reason for thinking that 
his friend Hogg " liked his wife," both of them being 
then in York ; but, so far from " trying all he could 
to induce her to love him in turn," he at once 
took her away from York to Keswick, and he 
addressed letters of grave remonstrance and sad 
reproach to Hogg, and then for a time broke off 
all intercourse with him. The only other matter 
one knows of at all relevant to this issue is that 
Shelley alleged that afterwards a certain Major Ryan 
carried on an intrigue with Harriet. He blamed 
and resented her imputed frailty, and put it forward 
as a principal motive for his separating from her. It 
is certainly possible that, after the separation, he 
told Harriet that she might as well " make the best 
of a bad job," and adhere to Ryan, since she would 
not adhere to her wedded husband : but no indication 
of any such advice on his part appears anywhere 
else. Be it understood that I do not at all affirm 
that this suspicion or statement of Shelley's about 
Harriet and Ryan was correct. I doubt it ex- 
tremely, though not venturing summarily to reject 


it. The next point is that Shelley was " surrounded 
by friends who feed upon him, and draw upon him 
as their banker." This probably glances at Godwin, 
and perhaps also at Charles Clairmont, the brother of 
Clare. Thomas Love Peacock may likewise be in 
question : not Leigh Hunt, for, though the cap might 
have fitted him in and after the year 18 17, it did not 
so in the present year 18 16, since Hunt was as yet 
all but unknown to our poet. Last comes the 
funny statement about a hectoring landlord who 
twice knocked down the non-duelling author of 
Queen Mab. It is difficult to guess what this allega- 
tion may refer to. Shelley had by this time had 
several landlords in different parts of the United 
Kingdom ; and quite possibly some of them thought 
his rent unduly low, or more especially his quarterly 
or other instalments irregularly paid, but who can 
have been the landlord who took the law so decisively 
into his own hands, and found so meekly unresisting 
a tenant, I have no idea. There was an odd incident 
on January 19, 18 12, when Shelley, then living at 
Keswick, was (or was said to have been) struck down 
senseless on the threshold of his door — seemingly by 
a couple of robbers. On that occasion, however, his 
landlord, Mr. Dare, appeared in the character of a 
guardian angel : so we must dismiss any notion that 
this incident, the one which in some of its features 


seems to come nearest the mark, is that which Shelley 
so ingenuously imparted to Polidori.] 

June 19. — Leg worse ; began my ghost-story. Mr. 
S[helley?] etc. forth here. Bonstetten and Rossi 
called. B[onstetten] told me a story of the religious 
feuds in Appenzel ; a civil war between Catholics and 
Protestants. Battle arranged ; chief advances ; calls 
the other. Calls himself and other fools, for battles 
will not persuade of his being wrong. Other agreed, 
and persuaded them to take the boundary rivulet ; 
they did. Bed at 3 as usual. 

June 20. — My leg kept me at home. Shelley etc. 

Jmie 21. — Same. 

June 22. — L[ord] B[yron] and Shelley went to 
Vevay ; Mrs. S[helley] and Miss Clare Clairmont 
to town. Went to Rossi's — had tired his patience. 
Called on Odier ; Miss reading Byron. 

[The expedition of Byron and Shelley to Vevay 
was that same Lake-voyage which forms so promi- 
nent an incident in their Swiss experiences. Their 
starting upon this expedition had hitherto been dated 
June 23. Professor Dowden has expressed a doubt 
whether June 22 would not be the correct date, and 
here we find that so it is.] 

June 23. — Went to town ; apologized to Rossi. 
Called on Dr. Slaney etc. Walked to Mrs. Shelley. 


Pictet, Odier, Slaney, dined with me. Went down to 
Mrs. S[helley?] for the evening. Odier mentioned 
the cases of two gentlemen who, on taking the nitrate 
of silver, some time after had a blacker face. Pictet 
confirmed it. 

June 24. — Up at 12. Dined down with Mrs. 
S[helley] and Miss C[lare] C[lairmont]. 

[The dates hereabouts become somewhat embar- 
rassing. For the day which I am calling June 24 
Polidori repeats June 23 ; and he continues with the 
like sequence of days up to June 29, when, as he 
notes, he " found Lord Byron and Shelley returned." 
It seems to be an established fact that the day when 
Shelley got back to Montalegre was July i : he has 
stated so, and a note to the Letters of Lord Byron 
states the same. Thus Polidori seems to have dropped 
two days. One is accounted for by substituting June 
24 for June 23 ; and I shall call the next day June 
26, though uncertain as to where the second error 

June 26. — Up. Mounted on horseback : went to 
town. Saw Mrs. Shelley: dined. To Dr. Rossi's 
party of physicians : after at Mrs. S[helley's ?]. 

June 27. — Up at Mrs. Shelley's : dined. No caleche 
arrived : walked to G[eneva]. No horses : ordered 
saddle-horse. Walked to Rossi's — gone. Went to 
the gate : found him. Obliged to break off the 


appointment. Went to Odier's. Met with Mr. , 

a friend of Lord Byron's father. Invited me to his 
house: been a long time on the Continent. Music, 
ranz des vaches, beautiful. Rode two hours ; went 
to Mrs. S[helley]; Miss C[lairmont] talked of a 

[This last phrase is not clear : does it mean that 
Miss Clairmont talked in a soliloquy — talked to 
herself, in such a way as to excite observation?] 

June 28.— All day at Mrs. S[helley s]. 

June 29. — Up at i ; studied ; down at Mrs. 

June 30. — Same. 

July I. — Went in caleche to town with Mrs. 
S[helley] and C[lare] for a ride, and to mass (which 
we did not go to, being begun). Dined at i. Went 
to town to Rossi. Introduced to Marchese Saporati ; 
together to Mr. Saladin of Vaugeron, Countess 
Breuss, Calpnafur ; and then to a party of ladies. 

[The word which I give as Calpnafur is 
dubious in Charlotte Polidori's transcript : it is 
evidently one of those words as to which she felt 
uncertain, and she wrote it as near to Dr. Polidori's 
script as she could manage. The other three names 
— Saporati, Saladin, and Breuss — are not elucidated 
in any book I have consulted. Perhaps Saporati 
ought to be Saporiti — see p. 149. There were two 


Saladins of some note in France in the days of the 
Revolution and Empire — one of them lived on to 1832 ; 
but I can scarcely think that this Saladin in Geneva 
was of the same race. He may be the " Syndic 
Saladin " mentioned farther on.] 

Found Lord Byron and Shelley returned. 

July 2. — Rain all day. In the evening to Mrs. 

September 5. — Not written my Journal till now 
through neglect and dissipation. Had a long explanation 
with S[helley] and L[ord] B[yron] about my conduct 
to L[ord] B[yron] ; threatened to shoot S[helley] one 
day on the water. Horses been a subject of quarrel 
twice, Berger having accused me of laming one. 

[Before this date, September 5, Shelley, with Mary 
and Miss Clairmont, had finally left the neighbour- 
hood of Geneva ; they started on August 29 upon 
their return journey to England. The statement that 
Polidori " threatened to shoot Shelley one day on the 
water" brings us back again to that question, of which 
I spoke under the date of June 4, about some hare- 
brained quarrel with Shelley leading to a challenge 
for a duel. The natural inference from the position 
which this entry occupies in Polidori's Diary certainly 
is that the threat to Shelley occurred at some date 
between July 2 and August 28 — not at the earlier 
date of June 4 ; and so I presume it more probably 


did. We find also that Polidori's conduct in relation 
to Byron was considered not to be correct ; and this 
formed the subject of " a long explanation " not only 
with Byron himself but likewise with Shelley.] 

L[ord] B[yron] went to town in pursuit of thieves 
who came to steal the anchors after having stolen my 
sail. Was refused permission to go out. I went to 
the Syndic Saladin, and told him I begged his pardon 
for our servants, who must have said something in- 
sulting, or else he could not have refused permission 
to leave the port. Thieves attempted to break into 
the house. 

An apothecary sold some bad magnesia to L[ord] 
B[yron]. Found it bad by experiment of sulphuric 
acid colouring it red rose-colour. Servants spoke 
about it. Appointed Castan to see experiment; 
came ; impudent ; refused to go out ; collared him, 
sent him out, broke spectacles. Laid himself on a 
wall for three hours ; refused to see experiments. 
Saw L[ord] B[yron], told him his tale before two 
physicians. Brought me to trial before five judges ; 
had an advocate to plead. I pleaded for myself; 
laughed at the advocate. Lost his cause on the plea 
of calumny ; made me pay 12 florins for the broken 
spectacles and costs. Magnesia chiefly alumina, as 
proved by succenate^ and carbonate of ammonia. 
1 Word obscurely written. 


Dined twice at Madame de Stael's ; visited there 
also ; met Madame de Broglie and M[onsieur ?] ; Miss 
Randall ; two Roccas ; Schlegel ; Monsignor Brema ; 
Dumont ; Bonstetten ; Madame Bottini ; Madame 
Mong-elas ; young de Stael. 

[It will be observed that Dr. Polidori, although he 
details these various circumstances likely to create 
some soreness between Lord Byron and himself, does 
not here state in express terms that the poet had 
parted with him. At the end of this entry for 
September 5 he does, however, give a few words to 
the subject, confirmatory of Lord Byron's ensuing 
remarks. Byron, in a good-humoured spirit, gave a 
general explanation in a letter addressed to John 
Murray on January 24, 1817. He understood that 
Polidori was "about to return to England, to go to 
the Brazils on a medical speculation with the Danish 
Consul " (which, however, he did not actually do) ; 
and Byron asked Murray to get the Doctor any 
letters of recommendation. Then he adds : " He 
understands his profession well, and has no want of 
general talent : his faults are the faults of a pardon- 
able vanity and youth. His remaining with me was 
out of the question. I have enough to do to manage 
my own scrapes ; and, as precepts without example 
are not the most gracious homilies, I thought it better 
to give him his conge : but I know no great harm of 


him, and some good. He is clever and accomplished ; 
knows his profession, by all accounts, well ; and is 
honourable in his dealings, and not at all malevolent." 
In March 1820 Byron made a few other observations 
applicable to his intercourse with Polidori : " The 
sole companion of my journey was a young physician 
who had to make his way in the world, and, having 
seen very little of it, was naturally and laudably 
desirous of seeing more society than suited my 
present habits or my past experience. I therefore 
presented him to those gentlemen of Geneva for 
whom I had letters of introduction ; and, having thus 
seen him in a situation to make his own way, retired 
for my own part entirely from society, with the 
exception of one English family " — i. e. Shelley and 
his two ladies. At times, however, Byron was less 
lenient to the Doctor. On June 17, 18 17, he wrote 
to Murray : " I never was much more disgusted with 
any human production than with the eternal nonsense 
and tracasseries and emptiness and ill-humour and 
vanity of that young person : but he has some talent, 
and is a man of honour, and has dispositions of 
amendment in which he has been aided by a little 
subsequent experience, and may turn out well." 

It may be hardly needful to state that "Madame 
de Broglie and Monsieur" {i.e. the Due Victor de 
Broglie) were the daughter and son-in-law of Madame 


de Stael : they were now but very recently wedded, 
February 20, 18 16. Byron thought the youthful wife 
devoted to her husband, and said " Nothing was 
more pleasing than to see the development of the 
domestic affections in a very young woman." Of the 
two Roccas, one is remembered as Madame de Stael's 
second husband. He was a very handsome officer 
of Swiss origin. They married privately in 181 1, 
she being then aged about forty-five, and he twenty- 
two. He only survived his wife about six months, 
dying in 1818. August Wilhelm von Schlegel was 
at this date about forty- nine years old, celebrated as 
a translator of Shakespear and Calderon, and as a 
scholar of extensive range. He had travelled much 
with Madame de Stael, who drew on him for some 
of the ideas set forth in her book De VAllemagne, 
Monsignor Brema is a good deal mentioned farther 
on : he was a son of the Marchese di Brema (or 
Breme), who had been a valuable Minister of the 
Interior under the Napoleonic regime in Italy. 
Dumont, who has been previously named by Polidori 
as the translator of Bentham, was also closely 
associated with the great Mirabeau.] 

At Vaugeron, the Saladins, Auguste Mathould, 
Rossi, Jacques Naple [?], Brelaz, Clemann, Countess 
Mouskinpouskin, Breuss, Abate Gatelier, Toffettheim 
e figlio, Foncet, Saussure, Lord Breadalbane and 


family, a ball ; Saladin of Maligny, Slaneys, two 
balls ; Dr. and Mrs. Freckton White, Galstons (Miss 
etc. sisters), a ball ; Lord Bingham, Lord F. Cunning- 
ham, Lord Belgray, a ball ; Mr. Tillotson St. Aubyn, 
Mrs. Trevanion, Valence Meers, R. Simmons, Lloyd, 
Princess Jablonski, Lady Hamilton Dalrymple, 
Odiers, Lord Kinnoul, Somers, Lord Glenorchy, Mr. 
Evans, Coda (songstress), M. G. Lewis, Mrs. Davies, 
Mr. Pictet, Mr. Hobhouse, Dr. Gardner, Caravella, 
Shelleys, Sir John St. Aubyn. 

[Most of these numerous names must be left to 
themselves : several of them are hereafter commented, 
often caustically, by Polidori himself Saussure is 
not the more celebrated naturalist and traveller, 
Horace Benedict, who died in 1799; but is his son, 
Nicolas Theodore, who cooperated largely with the 
father, and produced an important book of his own, 
Recherches sur la Vegetation. Born in 1767, he lived 
on to 1845. Mrs. Trevanion may be supposed to 
have belonged to the same family as a certain Mr. 
Trevanion who figured very discreditably in the 
history of that Medora Leigh who was the daughter 
of the Honourable Mrs. Leigh (Byron's half sister) 
and ostensibly of her husband, but who is now said 
to have been in fact the daughter of Byron himself 
Lady Hamilton Dalrymple ought seemingly to be 
Lady Dalrymple Hamilton : she was a daughter of 


Viscount Duncan, and wife of Sir Hew D. Hamilton. 
Somers is mentioned on p. 1 50 : this is probably the 
correct spelling, not (as here) Summers. Matthew 
Gregory Lewis (whom I had occasion to name before) 
was the author of The Monk, which he wrote at the 
early age of nineteen, of the musical drama The Castle 
Spectre^ and of other works whose celebrity has not 
survived into the present day. He was now near the 
end of his brief career, for he died in 18 18, aged 

The society I have been in may be divided into 
three sets : the canton of Genthoud, Coppet, and 
Geneva. The canton is an assemblage of a neigh- 
bourhood of about seven or eight families, meeting 
alternately on Sundays at each other's houses, and 
every Thursday at the Countess Breuss's. The 
Countess Breuss lives at Genthoud in a villa she 
has bought. She has two husbands, one in Russia, 
one at Venice ; she acted plays at the Hermitage 
under Catherine. Not being able to get a divorce, 
she left Russia, went to Venice for six days, stayed 
as many years, married (it is said), bought villas etc. 
in the Venetian's name, and separated. Her family 
consists of Madame Gatelier, a humble friend, a 

great lover of medicaments etc.. Abate , her 

Almoner, an excellent Brescian, great lover of re- 
ligionists. A mania in the family for building summer- 


houses, porticoes, and baths ; neatly planned ; an island 
with a ditch round it ; a Tower of Babel round the 
trunk of a chestnut ; a summer-house by the roadside 
of a Moorish construction. The Countess is very 
good-natured, laughs where others calumniate and 
talk scandal with prudish airs, kind to all. The 
society is extremely pleasant ; generally dancing or 
music. It was the birthday of Charles Saladin, who, 
having been four years in Nap[oleon]'s army, knew 
nothing of the matter. She asked to have the feting 
of him. They acted first a charade on the canton of 
Genthoud. She acted with Mr. Massey junior, with 
others, and myself as a woman — the words to blind.^ 
Then came a kind of farce, in which Charles was 
dressed as the C. B. [Countess Breuss ?], Gatelier as 
the Abb4 and Miss Saladin as Gatelier : each took 
one another off. Written by C. B. When at last 
another of the society brought a letter announcing it 
to be Charles' birthday. Then they, while he was in 
his amazement, sang a song to him, presented him 
with a bouquet and purse. Then an elegant supper, 
and afterwards a ball on the arrival of Madame 
Toffettheim with her son. A great party was invited ; 
and after tea two plays were acted — Le Pacha de 

^ " Blind " appears to be the word written. It seems an odd 
expression — meaning, I suppose, "to blind (mislead or puzzle) 
the auditors." 


Suresne and Les Ricochets. There was an immense 
number of spectators. The actors were, in Le Pacha 
de Suresne, Madame Dorsan, la Comtesse Breuss; 
Laure, Madlle. Brelaz ; Agla^, Clemann ; Nathalie, 
M.; Madlle. Remy, Madame Gatelier ; Perceval, Alexis 
Saladin ; Flicflac, Polidori ; Joseph, C. Saladin. — 
Les Ricochets — I do not remember the characters. 
The actors were Alexis, Charles, Auguste Saladin, 
Massey le jeune, La Comtesse Breuss, Madame 
Mathilde Saladin. The rehearsals before were 

I got a discretion from the Countess, which I took 
in the shape of a Swiss,^ in consequence of a wager 
that I could not go straight home. 

La Toffettheim is a nice, unpretending, lady-like 
woman, pleasing and affectionate. Her son full of 
liberty-ideas. It was here, in consequence of Massey 
junior dancing extremely well, that, being defied, I 
danced a pantaloon-dance, by which I made enemies ; 
for, upon my refusing it at the Saladins*, they thought 
it was a personal refusal. Saladins of Vaugeron, 
father and mother. Father deaf, good-natured : said 
to me upon reading my thesis, " Mais, Monsieur, il 
n'y a pas de paradoxe." The mother pretended to 
play shy on account of Madame B. 

^ This, again, is not clear to me : something in the nature of 
a game of forfeits may be indicated. 


[By Madame B. it would appear, from a statement 
farther on, that Polidori means Madame Brelaz.] 

The daughter — because, the first night I saw her, 
knowing her by particular introduction, I stuck to 
her — thought me in love, and said so, — fool ! Madame 
Mathilde [Saladin] pretended prude in mine and 
Madame B.'s case, while she herself has got Mr. 
Massey junior dangling, not unheard, after her. 
Charles a good boisterous soldier, at Leipzig, Nassau, 
and 13 ingwen [?] ^ Waterloo business. Makes up for 
wit by noise, for affection by slaps on the back. On 
his birthday I addressed him with (after supper) — 

"Jeune guerrier dans I'armde du premier des heros, 
Dans la cause de la France dedaignant le repos, 
Que la chute de vos ans soit tranquille et heureuse, 
Comme fut I'aube de vos jours dclatante et glorieuse." 

[This little specimen suffices to show that Polidori 
had no true idea of French versification : he was 
evidently unaware that a final e mute coming before 
a consonant counts as a syllable.] 

Auguste, a simple neat fool, despising learning 
because he is noble and has enough to live upon ; 
content to dangle, with a compliment and a sentiment, 
after a woman's tail. Alexis, so so, good-naturedly 
ignorant husband to Mathilde. Massey senior, active 

* So written : should it be " B ingwen " or something of the 
kind ? 


pleasant man, excellent fencer and dancer — been 
secretary to Bertrand. Massey junior, confident, 
impudent, insolent, ignorant puppy. Saladins of 
Maligny, neither good nor bad, rich : to gain a little 
more, let their villa to Lord Breadalbane, and retired 
to a cottage, though both old and only one ugly vain 
daughter. Lord Breadalbane, an excellent, good- 
sensed though not quick man : answered — when the 
Duke of Bedford said to him, " What would you give 
to have the Breadalbane estate in Bedfordshire ? " — 
"Why, your Grace, I should be sorry if my estate 
would go in Bedfordshire." Gave a very good ball 
at which I was. His son Lord Glenorchy, good, shy, 
not brilliant young man. His lady not spoken to. 
His daughter excellent dancer, rather haughty. Mr. 
Evans, a good sensible man, biassed in his thoughts 
by his cassock. At the society he took up the im- 
mortality: Lord Glenorchy gave a positive No. 
Saussure, Mrs., a wax talkative figure. Mr., a 
would-be scientific gentleman : thought mc a fool 
because I danced pantaloon, and himself a wise man 
because he knows the names of his father's stones. 
Jacquct, Madlle., got half in love with her, — no, her 
8000 a year : her face and bad-singing exposures 
cured me. Foncet, officer of the Piedmontese troops, 
jealous of him. 

Brelaz, Portuguese lady, — in love with her ; I think 


fond of me too ; imprudent ; her daughter also against 
me on account of it ; shows it too much publicly ; 
very jealous ; her daughters, sprightly good-looking 
girls. Clemann — got half in love with her ; nice 
daughter. The Cavalier pleasing. Had a dispute in 
a public ball with her two fools. One of the Saladins, 
Auguste, courts her, and she laughs ; she excites love 
in every young man's breast. Miss Harriet is rather 
too serious for her age, pretty and well-informed in 
novels and romances, and rather too sentimental. 
Cavalier's Marianne is a fine hoydenish creature : 
applies when studying, and romps when playing. 

Madame de Stael I have dined with three times ; 
she is better, those who know her say, at home than 
abroad. She has married poor Rocca. She talks 
much ; would not believe me to be a physician ; pre- 
sented her my thesis, which she told me she had read 
with pleasure. Talked about religion, and puts down 
every [?] of Rocca. Ugly ; good eyes. Writing on 
the French Revolution ; polite, affable ; lectures, and 
tells all to L[ord] B[yron]. Madame de Broglie, her 
daughter, a beautiful, dirty-skinned woman ; pleasant, 
soft-eyed speaker ; dances well, waltzes. Schlegel, a 
presumptuous literato, contradicting d, outrance ; a 
believer in magnetism. Rocca, a talkative, good- 
natured, beautiful man, with a desire for knowledge ; 
the author of Walcheren and Espapie ; excellent at 


natve description. Rocca, the judge, very clever and 
quick, rising ; know little of him. Been seven years 
in the courtship of Miss Saladin ; she neither refuses 
nor accepts him, but keeps him in her train. Miss 
Randall, sister to Mrs. Norgate. Monsignor Brema, 
friend of Ugo Foscolo, enthusiastic for Italy, encomiast 
in all, Grand Almoner of Italy, hater of Austrians. 
Dumont, a thick, heavy-thoughted body, editor of 
Bentham. Bonstetten, friend of Gray. 

The first time L[ord] B[yron] went, there was Mrs. 
Hervey there ; talkative, sister and a great friend of 
the Noels ; she thought proper to faint out of the 
house, though her curiosity brought her back to speak 
with him. 

Bonstetten told me that, upon his saying to Gray 
that he must be happy, he took and read to him the 
criticism of Johnson, which happens to have been 
written after Gray's death ; he used to go in the 
evening to tea, and remain all night reading the 
English authors with him. Gray introduced him to 
society ;^ and, one of the professors having asked him 
if he understood what he said, he replied he thought 

^ The word " society " is perfectly clear in Charlotte Polidori's 
transcript. From the context, I question whether it ought not 
to be "Shakespear." As to "the criticism of Johnson" on Gray 
in the Lives of the Poets, many of my readers will recollect that 
this criticism is somewhat adverse, Gray being treated as a rather 
nebulous writer. 


so, but very diff[idently ? ] — " So you think so only ! " 
Gray, hearing this, showed B[onstetten] some pas- 
sages to ask him, which B[onstetten] did in a public 
company, complimenting him upon [his?] known 
knowledge ; when all the company, one after the 
other, began contradicting the Professor's opinion. 
Then B[onstetten], turning to him, said, " You perhaps 
thought you understood Shakespear." Gray told 
him that there was none who could perfectly under- 
stand him. 

Rossi, an Italian of about thirty, pleasant, agree- 
able, and good-natured, professor at Bologna, thence 
obliged to fly with two others. One of his companions 
was beginning his lecture, when the students called 
out, " No lecture, but an improvise upon the liberty 
of Italy " ; as he v/as an improvisators He objected, 
as, on account of Murat's approach, it might be sus- 
picious. They insisted, and the professors at hand 
said, "No harm if not upon present circumstances." 
He did it, and the students issued forth to join Murat ; 
they had however made up their minds to do so 
before. Rossi joined it more openly and loudly, and 
was obliged to fly. He wrote a memoir to defend 
himself, in which he said it was only to avoid the 
Roman dominion, and give it to the Archduke ; who 
told him that he had better write another, as Bologna 
was already ceded to Pius. When he was ruined thus 


partially he wrote to the father of his betrothed, to 
say that he must not (if he chose) think himself bound 
by his promise, as he was not in the same circum- 
stances as when the promise was given. The father 
did retract. So far a man of honour. Now how to 
reconcile his being with Calandion, a magistrate of 
G[eneva] violent on the other side ? who says he has 
made a good profession to him, and at the same time 
professing other opinions to others. 

Gave me a letter to Milan, and by him I have been 
introduced to Saporiti, a good, enthusiastic, ignorant 
Italian. Talked of the English landing 100,000 
soldiers here and there, as if they were so many 

Slaneys : the husband jealous of every one — Cam- 
bridge degree. When I danced with his wife, he 
after, when walking with her, came up and gave an 
arm too. The wife beautiful, but very simple. 
Galston, Miss, very beautiful. 

" Genevan Liberal Society " is a muster of English- 
men for debate on speculative questions. Twice 
there. Immortality, accomplice's evidence. The 
members whom I knew were — Lord Kinnoul, a most 
tiresome, long-winded, repeating, thick-headed would- 
be orator, Lord Conyngham. 

[The MS. gives " Cunningham," which must be a 
mistake. The Lord Conyngham of this period began 


the year 1816 as an Earl, and ended it as a Marquis. 
He was born in 1766, and lived on to 1832, and was 
husband of a lady, Elizabeth Denison, whose name 
figures much in the gossip, not excluding the scandal, 
of those years.] 

Mr. Somers, good head enough. Valence, whom I 
cried to hear ; and, meeting me after at Chamounix, 
the first thing he asked me was, " Why did you laugh 
at me ? " St. Aubyn, Lloyd, Slaney. 

Lloyd, of good Welsh blood, his original name 
Ap Griffith, rode out. We went out visiting one 
day, and, in returning in his gig, he touched a horse 
of a row of carts. The carter struck me upon my 
back with his whip ; I jumped down, and six jumped 
at me. I fortunately was between a wheel and a 
hedge, so that they all could not reach. Lloyd, 
seeing this, jumped down also ; then three left me 
and went to him, and another untied a piece of his 
wagon with which, while I defended myself from 
the two (one with a whip), he struck me while 
fortunately my arm was striking a blow, so that it 
did but just touch my face. He lifted again; I 
sprang back, and with all the force of my leap struck 
him with my fist in his face. His blow fell to the 
ground, and with his hand to his nose he retreated. 
They then seized stones to throw, but we closed with 
them ; they could not throw above two, when we 


saw an English carriage we knew coming. We 
called, they came, and immediately the boisterous 
[fellows?] were calm. Some who tried to divide us 
got blows also. 

St. Aubyn, an excellent fellow, introduced me to 
his father at Genthoud : is a natural son, studying 
for the Church. His father is a good polite man, 
according to the "go" school.^ Keeps a mistress 
now, though sixty-five years : has many children by 
different mistresses. 

At Dr. Odier's — who is a good old, toothless, 
chatty, easy-believing man — there was a society 
every Wednesday, where I went sometimes. They 
danced, sang, ate cakes, and drank tea ; English 
almost entirely, changing every Wednesday. — Went 
to a concert of Madam igella Coda — the theatre dirty. 

When Mr. Hobhouse and Davies arrived, we went 
to Chamounix. The first day through Chesne, Anne- 
masse, Vetra, Nangy, Contamine, Bonneville (dinner), 
Cluses, Sallenches (slept). Next day by Chede in 
two char-d-bancSy with each a guide ; a fine pine-glen 
of the Arve, to Chamounix. We went that evening 
over the Brisson, and to the source of the Aveyron. 
Next day so bad we left, and returned to Sallenches, 
taking the fall of Chede in our way ; thence to 

1 Seems rather an odd phrase, but I suppose correctly 


Diodati. Mr. Scrope Davies played against the 
marker at tennis: then went, taking Rushton with 
him. [Rushton was one of the servants.] 

L[ord] B[yron] determined upon our parting, — not 
upon any quarrel, but on account of our not suiting. 
Gave me £70 \ 50 for 3 months and 20 for voyage. 
Paid away a great deal, and then thought of setting 
off: determined for Italy. Madame de Stael gave 
me three letters. Madame B[relaz ?] wept, and most 
seemed sorry. 

[I suppose that most likely the " Madame B." here 
is Madame Brelaz, with whom, as stated on p. 145, 
Polidori was " in love." Or it might perhaps be the 
Comtesse de Breuss.] 

The night before I went, at Madame B[reuss i*]'s, 
they acted Cest le Mime extremely well ; a Lausanne 
girl acting the lady very well. The costumes also 
extremely good. Wished nobody good-bye : told 
them, though, I was going. Set off with 47 louis, 
112 naps. 

Le Valais from Schlirer's book. Description du 
Dipartement du Simplon, 18 12, lent me by the 
Cav[aliere]. See elsewhere. 

September 16. — Left Cologny and Lord Byron at 
six in the morning. Breakfasted at Doraine, 3 
leagues. Dined, Thouson, ditto. Evrein, 2. Slept 
St. Gingoux, 4. Passed Meillerie. Saw Lausanne 


at a distance, right through this part of Sardinian 
King's dominions. Read Madame Brelaz's verses. 
Wept — not at them, but at the prose. 

September 17. — Left St. Gingoux at 6. Walked 

to } Took bread and wine. Crossed to Chillon. 

Saw Bonivard's prison for six years ; whence a 
Frenchman had broken, and, passing through a 
window, swam to a boat. Instruments of torture, 
— the pulley. Three soldiers there now : the Roman 
arms already affixed. Large subterranean passes. 
Saw in passing the three treed islands. The Rhone 
enters by two mouths, and keeps its waters distinct 
for two stones' throw. 

From Chillon I went to Montreaux — breakfasted 
— leaving Charney on my left. I began to mount 
towards the Dent de Jamanu. Before beginning to 
mount Jamanu itself, one has a beautiful view, seeing 
only part of the lake, bound by Meillerie, Roches, 
and the Rhone. Higher up the view is more 
extensive, but not so beautiful — nothing being dis- 
tinct ; the water looking merely as an inlet of sky, 
but one could see the Jura as far as Genthoud. 

I entered a chalet, where they expressed great 
astonishment at my drinking whey, which they give 
to their pigs only. Refused at first money. 

^ A name is written here, but so obscurely that I leave it out. 
It somewhat resembles " Neravois," or " the ravois." 


Descended towards Mont Boyon. What owing to 
the fatigue and hardly meeting any one, sick with 
grief. At Mont Boyon dined, and, finding they 
would not dance, slept immediately after. 

September i8. — Up at 4. Drank wine and bread. 
At 6 set off. Passed the Chateau d'Ox where there 
was a fair. After that, hardly met a soul. Always 
on the side of the mountains, each side of a river 
or torrent ; with torrent-beds, pine-forests, chalets, 
villages without a visible soul — all at work — and ups 
and downs : so that this road, if I had not had that 
of yesterday, I should have called the worst in the 
world. Passed through Chateau d'Ox ; Rougemont, 
breakfast ; Zwezermann, dinner ; Gessenay ; Lam- 
beck ; Reichenstein ; Weissenbach ; Bottingen, tea 
and night. The French language leaves off at 
Gessenay (rather, patois), and they begin their 
German : found it difficult to go on. 

September 19. — Got up at 4 J. Set off from Bottingen. 
Went through Obernoyle. Breakfasted at Wyssen- 
bach : refused my money. Went to the Doctor, 
who charged me a nap. Went through Erlenbach, 
Lauterbach, Meiningen, to Thun. Splendid scenery; 
especially the first look at the Lake by the river's 
mouth, and the pass into a great valley. Took 
dinner, and then a warm bath. Arrived at i o'clock. 
All the houses are of wood, the foundation only 



being stone : great cut ornaments between the rows 
of windows : the wood, fir. Felt very miserable, 
especially these two last days : only met two persons 
to whom I could speak — the others all Germans. 
At Wyssenbach they all said grace before breakfast, 
and then ate out of the same dish ; remarking (as 
I understood them) that I, not being a Catholic, 
would laugh. 

[It was a mistake to suppose that Dr. Polidori was 
" not a Catholic." He was brought up as a Catholic, 
and never changed his religion, but may (I suppose) 
have been something of a sceptic] 

September 20. — Got up at 6. Wrote to St. Aubyn, 
Brelaz, father, Vacca, and Zio, asking letters ; to my 
father, to announce my parting. 

[Vacca was a celebrated surgeon at Pisa, of whom 
we shall hear farther. Zio is " my uncle " — /. e, Luigi 
Polidori, also at Pisa.] 

Bought fresh shoes and stockings ; found no book- 
seller's shop. The man at the post-office made a 
good reflection : that he was astonished so many 
came to see what they who were so near never want 
to see, and that he supposed that the English also 
leave much unseen in their own country. 

Thun is a neat well-situated town, not large, with 
arcades — as apparently all the Berne towns. Afraid 
all day my dog was poisoned ; which grieved me so, 


at seeing it vomit, that I wept. At 2 o'clock went 
in search of a boat : none going immediately, I 
walked along the left bank of the lake to Unterseen. 
The views the most beautiful I ever saw ; through 
pines over precipices, torrents, and sleepers [?] ^ and 
the best-cultivated fields I ever saw. The lake some- 
times some hundred precipitous feet below my feet ; at 
other times quite close to its edge ; boats coming from 
the fair ; picturesque towered villages ; fine Alps on 
the other side, the Jungfrau and others far off. The 
bottom of the lake is especially magnificent. Lost 
my way, and had two little children as guides back 
again. One small cascade of seven or eight fountains. 

Arrived at 7 at Unterseen : through Nilterfingen, 
Oberhofen, Rottingen, Morlangen, Neuchaus, to 
Unterseen. Found two Englishmen at supper : sat 
down with them. Very miserable all the morning. 

September 21. — Got up at 6, having determined to 
go with the two to the Grindenwald in a char-a-banc, 
on account of the state of my foot. I went to the 
bridge at Interlachen to see the view coming 
between two beautiful isolated crags. Going, met 
a man, a marechal, who had been to Vienna and 
Bohemia en roulant after his apprenticeship, to see 
the world — stopping a day at one place, a day at 
another. Returned, breakfasted: and then, after 
1 Should this be "glaciers"?. 


growling at the innkeeper's wishing us to take two 
horses, we went off through splendid pine-clad craggy 
valleys through Zweihitschirne to Lauterbrunner ; 
whence to the fall of the Staubach, a bare cataract 
of 900 feet high, becoming vapour before it arrives — 
appearing much, and ending in a little stream. The 
curate of this village receives guests : there were the 
Prince Saxe-Gotha and family. We lunched at the 
inn, and went back to Lauterbrunner after having 
looked at the Jungfrau at a distance. 

Went from Zweihitschirne to the Grindenwald 
with the Saxe-Gotha before us, through a more 
beautiful valley. Saw the glaciers come into it, 
with the Eiger, Wetterhorn, and other mountains, 
most magnificent. Walking about, found two girls 
who gave us cherries and chatted freely. Found 
that mules were 18 francs a day. A party came 
in in the dark at 8 with guides, hallooing and making 
a lively sound. Dined at 7, and talked about mules, 
hoping to get return ones etc. 

September 22. — Got up. Could not get mules under 
18 francs: my foot too bad to walk. Went with 
Captain Rice and others back to Interlachen. Got 
into a boat rowed by two men and a boy. Went 
by Brientz, Calne, to the Griesbach cascade, and 
then to Brientz — wilder, but not so beautiful as the 
Lake of Thun. The cascade I did not mount to see 


on account of my foot. At Brientz an old woman 
would give us her presence and conversation till one 
of my companions courted the daughter. Met be- 
tween Grindenwald and Interlachen L[ord] B[yron] 
and Mr. H[obhouse] : we saluted. 

September 23. — Got up at 4. Tired of my company ; 
and, finding the expense more than I could afford, I 
went to their bedrooms to wish them good-bye. Set 
off at 5 J ; and through fine copse- wooded crags, 
along the Aar, with cascades on every side, to 
Meyringen ; where I breakfasted with two Germans, 
an old and a young artist — the old, chatty. Bought 
a pole. Went to see the Reichenbach, a fine cascade 
indeed. Thence through the beautiful vale of Nach- 
im - Grunden, where for a moment I planned a 
sovereignty ; but, walking on, my plans faded before 
I arrived at Guttannen, where I dined. 

Rode all the way to-day — horrible, only passable 
for men and mules : it is the way to St. Gothard. 
The road is merely huge unequal masses of granite 
thrown in a line not the straightest. From Guttannen 
the road went through the wildest and most sublime 
scenery I ever read of: vegetation less and less, so 
that, instead of grass, there was moss ; then nothing. 
Instead of trees, shrubs ; then nothing — huge granite 
rocks leaving hardly room for the road and river. 
The river's bed the most magnificent imaginable, cut 


deep and narrow into the solid rock, sinuous, and 
continually accompanied by cascades, and amazing 
bold and high single-arched bridges. Snow covering 
in some parts the whole bed of the river, and so thick 
and strong that even huge stones have fallen without 
injuring its crust. There are only two houses between 
Guttannen and the Hospital : one, a chalet wherein 
I entered ; the other, a cow-herd's. Arrived at 6 
o'clock precisely, having walked in only 9J hours 30 
miles at least. 

[This is a little indistinct in connexion with what 
precedes. I suppose that the phrase "rode all the 
way to-day" must be understood as meaning "all 
the way up to Guttannen " ; and that, after leaving 
Guttannen, there were 30 miles of walking before the 
Hospital was reached. Yet this seems an unreason- 
ably heavy day's work in travelling. After "only 
9^" the initial written is "m": but I presume it 
ought to be "h" (hours).] 

The Hospital is an old stone ugly building, con- 
sonant with the wild scene, where the poor are lodged 
for nothing ; others, us, [as ?] an inn. 

September 24. — On account of rain did not get up 
till 7. Set off across the Grimsel, a dreary mountain 
with snow in every hollow — 5000 feet above the 
Four-canton Lake. Descended on the other side to 
Obergustellen, where I breakfasted at 10. Thence 


through Verlican, Guesquerman, Munster, Rexingen, 
Biel, Blizzen ; where, out of the dead flat valley, I 
began to mount, and the scenery began to increase 
in beauty. One bridge especially over the Rhone, 
which fell between two clefts' sides, was beautiful. 
Sinderwald, Viesch, pine-wood ; sax (?) along the 
rocks, and fine path along the mountain. Very fine, 
though continued hard rain, which drenched me and 
hindered my seeing a great deal. To Morel, where I 
went to bed, and ate a kind of dinner in bed at 7 o'clock. 

September 25. — Up at 5 ; my foot, from having 
been obliged to walk with the shoe down at heel, 
very much swelled and too painful to walk. Break- 
fast. Two students from Brieg, of the Jesuits' 
College, came in, who had during the vacations been 
beyond Constance with only two ecus neufs in their 
pockets. It costs them ten batsches a year at 
College. Impudent one : the other modest-looking, 
but, when I gave him six francs because he had no 
more money, he asked me for more on other accounts. 
The Jesuits been restored two years. 

At Brieg ^ I sent for the curate, a good old man 
of sixty. We conversed together in Latin for two 
hours ; not at all troublesome in enquiries, but kind 
in answering them. The Valaisians resisted two 

^ This name is illegibly written : I can only suppose that it 
must be meant for Brieg. 

BRIEG i6i 

years against the French in 93. It was the only- 
part of the country in which they did so, except 
Unterwalden, and then it was only the peasants, and 
in every village there was a French party. The 
cruelty of the French was dreadful ; they stuck their 
prisoners in a variety of ways like sheep. One old 
man of eighty, who had never left his house but 
whom they found eating, they strangled, and then 
put meat and bottles by him as if he had died 
apoplectic. They fought very hard and bravely, but 
such was the power of numbers united to the force 
of treachery that they were obliged to yield. In 
18 1 3, after the French had quitted Brieg, they again 
attempted to penetrate from Italy by the Simplon ; 
when the Brieg, Kelor [?], and other villagers, joined 
by only one company of Austrians, surrounded them 
in the night, and took them prisoners. In Schwytz [?] 
and Unterwalden the division was more strongly 
marked. In Unterwalden (where was the scene) the 
men [?] divided and fought against each other, some 
joining the French from Stanz[?] to Engelberg. 
They were for freedom, and fought as the cause 
deserved. They killed 5000 French, more than double 
their own number ; women fought ; they were in 
all 2100 Swiss. One maid in the ranks, when her 
comrades were obliged to retreat, seeing a cannon 
yet unfired, went with a rope-end and fired it, killing 


thirty [?] French. She was taken ; a pardon was 
offered. She said, " I do not acknowledge any 
pardon; my action is not pardonable; a thief [one?] 
pardons, not a just man." They killed her with 
swords. The hundred men who came from the 
higher part of Schwytz, attempting to go to their 
relief, were through their own countrymen forced to 
cut their way and march by night ; and, when in 
retreating they came to the other shore of Lucerne 
Lake, they had again to cut through their own 
countrymen to arrive at their homes, they refusing 
them permission to pass. The Austrians, for the help 
the higher Valaisians gave them, from sovereigns 
have made them subjects to the lower Valaisians. 
The curate came in again, with a description of the 
Simplon ; sat an hour and a half, then left the book. 
When [he was] not here I have written the part of 
my Journal I missed at the time, and the extract 
from his book. He came in again about 6 with a 
basket of prunes for me, and offered to go with me 
half-way, as he had to go to a church on the way. 

September 26. — Got up at 5. The curate came, 
and, my foot being better, I set off. He showed me 
the bridge over the Massa where was a battle, and 
the ruins of a tyrant's tower. We came to his church, 
where he showed me the miraculous figure that was 
found in the Rhone. He told me the lower Valaisians 


were ready to join the French in '13, and that, in 
spite of this, they [the Austrians ?] had given them a 
majority of voices. Left me in sight of Brieg, telling 
me he hoped to see me again in heaven. I walked 
on to Brieg ; breakfasted, and then set off along the 
Simplon, a magnificent road indeed. It is cut in 
many places through the rocks, in others built up 
to its side. It has caverns and bridges always wide 
enough for four carriages ; it ascends all the way to 
the new Hospice, and again descends from it. At its 
side are houses of refuge (as they are called) where 
many are kept by government, with privilege of 
selling food to help the passers-by. There is in each 
a room with a bed where one can go in case of rain, 
accident, etc. ; and, when the time for avalanches etc., 
these men are obliged to accompany the travellers 
from house to house. Just where the rising ends the 
new Hospital was to have been erected, and is half 
done, but stopped now. A little farther on is the old 
one ; whither I went, and got a dinner in the cell of 
one of the monks ; bread, wine, cold meat, and nuts. 
He seemed very ennuye; his words slowly fell ; said 
they were St. Augustines, not St. Bernardites. That 
St. Bernard was a mere reformer of the order. They 
have been here since 18 10 only, in an old castle for 
which they pay ;^20 a year. The Simplon was a 
department of France, and rather well off on account 


of the quantity of work and money, and not having the 
droits revenues. The Archduke Regnier was there a 
few days ago incog., and they did not recognize him 
— which mortified them very much. It is six leagues 
hither from Brieg, so that I had walked twenty-six 

I set off at 2 : passed through Sempeln [?], and 
through the most magnificent scenery, through the 
granite galleries. The Italian part is by far the 
most difficult and splendid. The first boy that I 
met before coming to Isella, in answer to a question 
in German, answered " Non capisco " ; M could have 
hugged. I arrived after much difficulty at Isella, 
knocked up. I was ruined in my feet, and it was not 
till near here that the carriages which parted in the 
morning from Brieg overtook me. Went to bed 
immediately in a room where the grease might be 
scraped from the floor. 

September 27. — Did not get up till i on account 
of fatigue. Breakfasted most miserably, everything 
being bad ; and then set off, but immensely slowly 
till a cart overtook me. Entered ; lay upon the logs 
of wood and hay, and was driven to Domo d'Ossola. 
Is it imagination only that I find the sky finer, 
the country where cultivated extremely rich, green- 
looking ? The dress of the women picturesque, blue 
^ " I don't understand." 


with red stripes here and there ; the men more acute 
and quicker-eyed. Arrived at Domo d'Ossola at 3 ; 
got into a clean though poor inn, and dined well. 
A gendarme came in to ask how it was that my 
passport had not been vised yet ; and then, seeing I 
was a physician, requested a cure for his toothache. 
It is useless to describe the picturesque : the best 
page to turn to for it is the memory. After one of 
the most comfortable fireside-evenings I have had 
since I left Geneva I went to bed at 7J. 

September 28. — Set off at 6 o'clock through vine- 
country, with little hills here and there starting out 
of the low Alps, highly cultivated, with beautiful 
little white villas at their tops and sides. Asked a 
woman what was a house whereon was painted 
a Democritus, Diogenes, etc. Answered, "E roba 
antica " ^ — though evidently modern, but deserted. 
Indeed, the whole of the houses seem too large for 
the inhabitants — much falling to ruin. From Domo 
d'Ossola went to Vella ; to Vagagna, where I break- 
fasted and saw the first good-looking Italian girl. 
The children are pretty, the women quite otherwise. 
There began to suffer from my feet so much as that 
to go about six more miles took me five hours. No 
car passed me, or anything. 

I arrived at last at Ornavasco. Could get no car, 
^ " It's an old aflfair." 


though they kept me half-an-hour in the yard 
standing, in hopes of getting one. At last agreed 
with a man that he should set off at 4 o'clock 
to-morrow to Fariolo for 4 francs. Looked at a 
bedroom : shrugged up my shoulders, but forced. 
Dinner : no meat, because " meagre." Ate the fruit. 
The Italian grapes, nectarines, peaches, and pears, I 
got yesterday, excellent. Two bunches of grapes 
half-a-franc : two at dinner. 

Sunday^ September 29. — Up at 5. Got into the 
char, or rather cart. Passed through Gravellino to 
Fariolo. Asked 10 francs to take me to Laveno : 
offered 4 — accepted. Got into the boat. Rowed 
towards Isola Madre ; passed Isola Pescatori ; and 
landed on Isola Bella. 

Went over the palace. Many of the floors miserable 
on account of their being the mere rock. Some good 
pictures. A whole set of rooms below in the style 
of grottoes, with windows looking on to beautiful 
views, close to the lake for // fresco. Looked at the 
terrace : not pleasing the style : and, thinking I 
should see it all in going round, did not go over 
the gardens. Went round the island in the boat ; 
magnificently paved, like terrace on terrace. 

Thence towards Laveno, intending to go to Lugano 
and Como ; but, hearing that I could go all the way 
by water to Milan, I preferred this, and accordingly 

MILAN 167 

turned round towards Belgirato. Breakfasted on 
caffe al latte, uve, and fichi} 4J francs. Boatman 
proposed my joining a party to Sestri-Calende, which 
I did. Arona, with the colossus, on my left, Anghera 
on my right ; Monte Rosa ; all the bottom part of 
the lake richly magnificent. 

[The colossus is the celebrated gigantic statue of 
San Carlo Borromeo.] 

Arrived at an inn — taken for a servant. After 
some time things got round, when in came two 
soldiers with swords by their sides, to desire me to 
step to the police-inspector. I did, and found he 
could not read the writing in my passport. The 
boatman came soon after, offering me a plan for 
to-morrow for five francs, and showing me twelve 
naps, they got for the boat — which cost only seventy 
francs. Agreed. 

September 30. — Up at 5. Off at 6 in a large barge, 
with yesterday's English party and two carriages, by 
the Tessino and canal to Milan : at first through a 
fine hilly country, and rapidly by the Tessino flood. 
After, slower, and through a flat plain with trees and 
neat villas and hanging grapes, to Milan. Slept out 
of the town by the canal. 
October i. — Up at 7. 

[Polidori blunderingly calls this " September 31 ": 
^ Coffee with milk, grapes, and figs. 


he also calls the day a Monday, but October i, 1816, 
was a Tuesday. For the next following day he 
rightly writes "October 2."] 

The boatman came as I had desired, to guide 
me. Entered Milan by a fine gate with a kind of 
triumphal arch. The streets are clean but narrow — 
fine houses. There are two strips of pavement for 
wheels, and often two for pedestrians. Passed by 
Santa Maria — fine, all white marble, with many fine 
statues on the outside. Many palaces. A bad taste 
shown in plastering the columns and corner-stones 
of a lighter colour than the body. 

Got a letter from Brelaz ; well written in composition 
and in letters, but badly spelled. Got my trunk, after 
some difficulty, passed. The diligence-keepers asked 
if they could direct me to rooms : showed two where 
a man was at that moment going. Got them for 40 
lire il mese ; a bedroom and sitting-room, second 
storey, Contrado San Spirito. Sent to the custom- 
house. Made the men wait — sent them away for two 
hours, again away for one. More stoppages, and, in 
centimes, 3 francs to pay. They would not at first let 
it (the trunk) go because it was the last day of the 

[Did they share Polidori's blunder that the day 
was September 31 ?] 

Went to dine at a restaurateur's: ij-franc dinner. 

MILAN 169 

Afterwards put my things into a little order, dressed, 
and went strolling towards Teatro della Scala. 
Entered, two hours before beginning, alone. Im- 
mense theatre : six rows of boxes, with, I think, 
thirty-six in a row. La Testa di Bronzo^ a ballet, 
and a comic ballet : the ballet the most magnificent 
thing I ever saw — splendid indeed. 

October 2. — Got up at 8. Breakfasted on grapes, 
bread and butter, wine, and figs. Wrote to Lord 
Byron. Dressed. Went to Marchese Lapone — out 
of town ; Monsignor Brema — not at home. Walked 
about looking at booksellers' shops. Entered the 
Duomo — invisible almost, so black and dark. They 
were putting up drapery for Friday, which is the 
Emperor's birthday (probably the same as for 
Napoleon). Returned home, arranged my papers. 
Took a walk on the Corso ; then to the Teatro Re. 
The same price for all the places. The piece // 
Sogno di Ariosto [Dream of Ariosto], where Fortune, 
Merit, Orgoglio, with Mrs. Disinganno,^ were all 
personified. The dialogue abounded in truths, es- 
pecially regarding women, which they applauded. 
The theatre is very small, hke the Haymarket. 
Home to bed. 

October 3. — Up at 8. Went to a circulating library : 
read Denina, Vicende, all the part on Italy and 
1 Orgoglio is pride ; disinganno is undeceiving, disillusion. 


preface. To the Teatro Scelto di Milano. Enquired 
about Andricini etc. for my father — not found. 

[" Andricini " is clearly written in the transcript 
before me. I am not aware that there is any such 
Italian author as Andricini, and apprehend that the 
name ought to be Andreini. This author wrote, early 
in the seventeenth century, a dramatic poem entitled 
AdamOy which was indisputably present to Milton's 
mind when he was writing Paradise Lost. Dr. Poli- 
dori's father, who translated Milton, was probably 
interested in this work of Andreini.] 

Went to the Teatro Re ; ^ a play of English people 
in which they kiss the hand, and make more bows 
than were ever made in a century in England. There 
were German soldiers in English uniforms present. 
Home, to bed. 

October 4. — Up at 8 — breakfasted. Went to call 
on Monsignore Breme — found him. Received me 
with two kisses and great apparent joy. About to 
learn English : I promised my help. Walked with 
me, and invited me to his box. 

[Lord Byron, in two of his letters, October and 

November 18 16, remarks regarding Milan: "The 

society is very oddly carried on — at the theatre, and 

the theatre only, which answers to our opera. People 

1 There is a word following " R^," evidently the title of the 
play which was acted. It looks something like " Amondre," 
but cannot be read. 

MILAN 171 

meet there as at a rout, but in very small circles. . . . 
They have private boxes, where they play at cards, 
or talk, or anything else ; but, except at the cassino, 
there are no open houses or balls etc. etc."] 

Left him — came home. Read Denina's Ultime 
Vicende, a poor book. Went to Guyler. Met Cara- 
vella — walked with him. Went to dine : where I met 
his brother, who told me the physician at Florence 
was dead, and promised to come and take me to the 
hospital. Met after dinner Abate Berlezi the Crabule.^ 
Came home. Read the Calandra of Bibiena, and 
Sofonisba of Trissino. Took an ice, and went to 
La Scala. Feast of St. Francis, the Emperor's. When 
the Dukes went this morning to mass at the Duomo 
not a hat moved, not a voice of applause : however, 
when Regnier entered, there was a slight clapping 
of hands. The theatre was lighted up like an English 
one, and was magnificent, but showed what the Italians 
allege — that the scene does not improve by it, but the 

In Brema's loge there were Monti, Brema's brother, 
and others. Monti a short man, round face, quick 
eye ; pleasant in conversation, not haughty, modest, 
unassuming ; seemed to take great pleasure in parts 
of the music and in the dancing. 

[It will be understood that this is the celebrated 

1 The word is more like Crabule than anything else : I don't 
understand it, 


Vincenzo Monti, the poet who was at one time 
acclaimed as the legitimate successor of Dante in 
virtue of his poem La Basvigliana^ upon a personage 
of the French Revolution. In 1816 Monti was sixty- 
two years of age : he died in 1828. Though sufficiently 
Italian in his tone of mind and sentiment, he was not 
a consistent Italian patriot, but was eminently sus- 
ceptible of inflation by a series of conflicting winds — 
anti-revolution, revolution, Napoleon ism, and even 
Austrianism. Not indeed that he was sordidly self- 
interested in his various gyrations. As Dr. Richard 
Garnett has said : " He was no interpreter of his age, 
but a faithful mirror of its successive phases, and 
endowed with the rare gift of sublimity to a degree 
scarcely equalled by any contemporary except Goethe, 
Byron, and Shelley."] 

Brema related that a friend of his, Porro, asked for 
a passport to Rome : refused, and asked for docu- 
ments to prove his business. Gave what proved he 
had business at Maurata and relatives at Rome. 
Refused. Went to Swarrow, who told him he could 
not give it. Porro said : " Why do the Austrians 
think the Italians are always making conspiracies?" 
Swarrow said that they did not know, but, now that 
they had the upper hand, they cared not ; and at last 
that, if Porro would give his word of honour not to 
visit any of the foreign embassies, he should have 

MILAN 173 

a passport. He had it. Porro was not a revolutionist 
but had always been against Napoleon, and had 
belonged to a legislative body by him dissolved on 
account of obstinacy. Brema and others accompanied 
me as far as the door, and I went to bed. 

[It appears in the sequel that there were two 
Austrian governors in Milan at this period — Swarrow 
and Bubna — one for civil and the other for military 

From that day I neglected my Journal till this day, 

December 8. — My residence at Milan lasted till 
October 30. During that time I had a most happy 
and pleasant life, Monsignor de Breme taking great 
friendship for me. My friends and acquaintance 
were Breme, Borsieri, Guasco, Cavalier Breme, Beyle, 
Negri, Byron, Hobhouse, Finch, Caravellas, Locatelli, 
Monti, Monti's son-in-law, Lord Cowper, Lord Jersey, 
etc. ; Lloyd, Lee, Wotheron. 

[Beyle was the great romance-writer best known 
as De Stendhal. In 18 16 he was aged thirty-three, 
and had published only one book, entitled Lettres 
Rentes de Vienne siir Haydn, suivies d'une Vie de 
Mosart, etc. He had seen some service under 
Napoleon, in Russia and elsewhere. His passionate 
admiration of the now dethroned Emperor induced 
him to retire from France towards 18 14, and he 
resided in Milan up to 182 1. He died in Paris in 


1842. — Hobhouse had rejoined Byron in mid- 
September, and they had continued together since 
then. — Colonel Pinch was the person through whom 
Shelley, in 1821, heard of the death of John Keats. 
— The Lord Cowper living in 18 16 was the fifth Earl, 
born in 1778, and was married to a daughter of the 
first Viscount Melbourne. — The Earl of Jersey, born 
in 1773, was married to a daughter of the Earl of 
Westmorland. — Mr. Wotheron is spoken of later 
on under the name " Werthern." Neither of these 
surnames has a very English aspect, and I cannot 
say which is correct.] 

De Breme and I became very intimate, and I believe 
he is really a good friend. In the morning at 10 
o'clock I went to him to help him in English, and 
towards the end he corrected my Italian translation 
of Count Orlando} We afterwards met at his box 
every night in the theatre of La Scala. He gave a 
dinner to Lord Byron, at which were a good many 
or rather all my acquaintances — Monti, Finch, Hob- 
house, two Bremes, Borsieri, Guasco (translator of 
Sophocles), Negri (author of Francesca of Rimini^ a 
play). The dinner was very elegant, and we were 
very merry, talking chiefly of literature, Castlereagh, 
Burghersh, etc. We got up immediately after dinner, 
and went to coffee ; thence most to the theatre. De 

* Presumably some English book, but I know not what. 

MILAN 175 

Breme was Vicar Almoner under the French Govern- 
ment. A priest came to him to ask leave to confess ; 
Breme, knowing the subject, refused. The Princess 
was put to move Beauharnais, who sent for Breme 
and in a very angry mood asked him why he had 
refused leave. B[reme] said that, as he was placed 
to give leave, he imagined it was that it might not be 
granted indiscriminately, that he could not in his 
conscience give it, but that he was not the chief, 
and the Almoner, being applied to, might grant it. 
B[eauharnais] asked why, saying that the Princess 
wished it, and it must be done. De B[reme] said he 
had undertaken the office under the idea that his 
conscience was to be his guide ; if not, the office 
should be immediately vacant ; that he put it to 
Beauharnais himself whether a man who was burled 
in the vilest dissoluteness was a proper person to be 
entrusted with the care of young women's minds. 
Beauharnais said, " Right, right ; you shall hear no 
more of it." This, and another occasion of the same 
nature, were the only occasions in which he saw 
Beauharnais privately ; he avoided the court, and did 
not seek preferment. He twice under that govern- 
ment refused a bishopric, and under the new govern- 
ment ; giving me as a reason that it went against 
his conscience to inculcate what he did not believe, 
and to add power to those who gave them, as he 


would be expected to side with them. He is 
violently for the independence of Italy. Christianity 
he believes not, and gives (I think) a new argument 
why we should not be holden to believe it. Saul, who 
was contemporary, who beheld the miracles etc., did 
not believe till a miracle was operated upon him ; 
we at this distance cannot believe with greater facility. 
He has published an eulogium of Caluro, Ingiustizia 
del Giudizio^ etc,^ poems, etc. Has written several 
tragedies ; Ina made me weep like a child. He is 
warm in his affections, and has never recovered the 
death of one he loved — a young noble lady, of great 
accomplishments and beauty. His friendship for me 
was warm : it gratifies me more than any attentions, 
friendship, or any relation I had before, with my 
fellow-companions. I cannot express what I feel for 
him. When parting from him, I wept like a child 
in his arms. He maintains from principle, not from 
belief, all the hardships imposed upon him by his 
tonsure. He would have the world to see that his 
belief is not swayed by a wish to escape from the 
bonds of the clerical state. He is charitable, giving 
away great sums of money in charity ; eats only once 
a day, and studies all day till the hour of the theatre ; 
kind to all who are recommended to him ; sacrificing 
whole days to show them what he has seen a 
thousand times ; a great admirer of English women ; 

MILAN 177 

has an excellent library, of which I had the use. A 
great friend of comic, good-natured mimicry. Has 
an idea of writing Ida, a novel containing a picture 
of the most promising movements of the Milan 
revolution, and I have promised to translate it. He 
has two brothers ; his father lives yet ; his eldest 
brother is Ambassador at Munich. The youngest 
is Cavalier Breme — been officer in Spain ; extremely 
pleasant and affectionate with me. Breme was a 
great friend of Caluro's, and to him Caluro dedicated 
one of his opuscules. 

Borsieri, a man of great mental digestive power 
and memory, superficially read ; author of // Giorno, 
a work written with great grace and lightness. He 
was very intimate with me, Guasco, and Breme. 
Guasco, a Piedmontese ; little reading, but great 
mental vision and talents. He also was one who 
attached himself a good deal to me. De Beyle, 
formerly Intendant des Marches (I think) to Buona- 
parte, and his secretary when in the country. A fat 
lascivious man. A great deal of anecdote about 
Buonaparte : calls him an inimitable et bon despote. 
He related many anecdotes — I don't remember 
them: amongst other things, he said Buonaparte 
despised the Italians much. 

[This last detail is confirmed in Beyle's Remin- 
iscences of Napoleon, published not long ago.] 


These four were the usual attendants at Dc 
Breme's box. 

Monti is a short, roundish, quick-eyed, and rather 
rascally-faced man, affable, easily fired ; talks rather 
nonsense when off poetry, and even upon that not 
good. Great imagination ; very weak. Republican 
always in conversation with us; but in the first 
month, after having declaimed strongly in B[reme']s 
box about liberty and Germans, just as they were 
going out he said, " But now let us talk no more of 
this, on account of my pension." Under the French 
government he gained a great deal by his various 
offices ; by this one he has been abridged of half. 
He translated the Iliad of Homer without knowing 
a word of Greek ; he had it translated by his friends, 
word for word written under the Greek. Easily 
influenced by the opinions of others ; in fact, a com- 
plete weathercock. He married the daughter of 
Pickler, the engraver; a fine woman, and they say 
an exceedingly good reciter, as he is himself She 
has acted in his plays upon the Philodramatic stage. 
His daughter is married. 

Negri — Marchese Negri ^ — a Genoese, not an im- 
provisatore — very chatty ; has at Genoa a most 

1 I think the name would correctly be Marchese di Negro : 
my father had some correspondence, towards 1850, with the then 
Marchese of that family. 

MILAN 179 

beautiful garden which all the English visit. Related 
to me Gianni's beginning. Gianni was an apprentice 
to a stay-maker, when one day an Abate, going 
into the shop, found him busily engaged in reading. 
Looking at the book, he asked him if he understood 
it. He said yes, and, on reading, showed it by his 
expression. The Abate, who was an improvisatore, 
asked him to see him next morning ; when he 
improvised before him, and observed that the young 
Gianni seemed as if his mind was full and wished 
to give forth. He had him sent to school, and intro- 
duced him. Gianni in the Revolution, taking the 
Liberal side, was obliged to leave Rome, and, going 
to Genoa, Negri heard by letter of it, and went to 
seek him, inviting him to dine with him. He refused; 
and Negri, who had promised his friends that he 
would be of the party, at the hour of dinner went 
and found him with his nightcap on, deeply reading 
his favourite Dante ; and in a manner dragged him 
by force to his house, where Gianni pleased much — 
and stayed a year at Negri's house, teaching him the 
art of improvisation. Gianni's improvisations were 
(many) improvised on the spot by an Abate into 
Latin verse. — Negri came to Breme's box several 
times, and had the effect of making all except 
Breme burst with laughter : me he sent to sleep. 
Lord Byron came to Milan, and I saw him there 


a good deal. He received me kindly, and corrected 
the English of my essay in Tlu Pamphleteer} He 
visited a good deal Breme's box. Mr. Hobhouse 
was with him. 

Colonel Finch, an extremely pleasant, good-natured, 
well-informed, clever gentleman; spoke Italian ex- 
tremely well, and was very well read in Italian 
literature. A ward of his gave a masquerade in 
London upon her- coming of age. She gave to 
each a character in the reign of Queen Elizabeth 
to support, without the knowledge of each other, 
and received them in a saloon in proper style as 
Queen Elizabeth. He mentioned to me that Nelli 
had written a Life of Galileo extremely fair, which, 
if he had money by him, he would buy that it 
might be published, — in Italy they dare not ; and 
that Galileo's MSS. were in dispute, so that the 
heirs will not part with them ; they contain some 
new and some various readings. Finch is a great 
admirer of architecture and Italy. — Wotheron, Mr., 
a gentleman most peaceable and quiet I ever saw, 
accompanying Finch ; whose only occupation is, 
when he arrives at a town or other place, to set 
about sketching and then colouring, so that he has 
perhaps the most complete collection of sketches 

^ This essay was on the Punishment of Death. 
2 The word written is " his " ; but the context shows that this 
must be a mistake. 

MILAN i8i 

of his tour possible. He invited me (taking me 
for an Italian), in case I went to England, to see 
him ; and, hearing I was English, he pressed me 
much more. — Locatelli was the physician of the 
hospital, a good unimpostoring physician. I saw 
under him a case of pemphizus, and had under my 
care an hysterical woman. 

Jersey, Lady, promised to enquire of her mother. 
Lady Westmorland, if she would employ me as 
her physician ; but said she thought my having been 
with Lord B[yron] a great objection. 

[I have an impression, not a secure one, that Dr. 
Polidori did act to some extent as Lady Westmor- 
land's medical adviser. It would here appear that 
her Ladyship was not very partial to Byron ; and 
Byron must have repaid her dislike, for I find, in a 
letter of his to Murray, November 1817, that Polidori 
was in the way of receiving " the patronage of Frederic 
North, the most illustrious humbug of his age and 
country, and the blessing of Lady Westmorland, 
William Ward's mad woman." Joseph Severn the 
painter (Keats's friend), who saw a good deal of Lady 
Westmorland at one time, terms her " this impulsive, 
arrogant, dictatorial, but witty and brilliant woman."] 

Lloyd ; — as I was moving in the pit, found him, and 
never saw a person so glad in my life. He offered 
me half of the money he had at his banker's, as he 
thought I must be much embarrassed. Told me 


Brelaz and Bertolini seemed to be together, and that 
the man seemed worked off his legs. 

My life at Milan was very methodical. I got up, 
went to the hospital, breakfasted, came home, studied, 
dined, and then at 7 went to the theatre. Between 
breakfast and study went to de Breme to help him 
in English. It was proposed too, by him, to teach 
English, which I had intended to do. 

I saw only the dome under which is the chapel of 
St. Borromeo — very rich in silver, crystal, and jewels. 
The body is vested in pontificals, and quite dry. The 
orbits seem only filled with a little heap of black 
dirt, and the skull etc. is black. There is here the 
gnometer of Cassini. They preserve here a nail of 
the cross of Christ. — St. Ambrose, the ancient Cathe- 
dral. It was at the gates of this that Theodosius was 
refused entrance. — The Brera library; and the Am- 
brosian, where I saw the Virgil with marginal notes 
of Petrarch ; some of the pieces of MSS. of the 
Plautus and Terence, fragments edited by Mai. — 
Some of the paintings there are beautiful. The 
Milanese Raphael has some heads expressing such 
mild heavenly meekness as is scarcely imagined. 

[This Raphael is, as many readers will know, the 
Sposalizio, or Espousal of the Virgin Mary and 
Joseph. Being an early work by the master, it 
exhibits, in its ''mild heavenly meekness," more of 

MILAN 183 

the style of Perugino than of that which became 
distinctive of Raphael in his maturity.] 

When at Milan, I spent almost all my money in 
books, buying nearly 3CX) volumes, not being able to 
resist that thirst for printed sheets, many of which I 
never shall read. 

Swarrow, the Governor of Milan, when the 
Emperor was there, accompanying him to the theatre, 
saw that one poor man in the pit, leaning against a 
box, had dared to keep his hat on. Violently 
enraged, he enters the box, without leave or saying 
a word ; and, leaning over the box with all his orders 
dangling at his breast, applies two hearty slaps to the 
poor man's cheeks, and then, rising majestically, 
leaves the box, and goes to receive the despot's 
smile. This making a great hubbub, and exciting a 
great deal of ridicule against the noble police-officer, 
he insisted with the police-director that not a word 
more should be allowed to be said. 

When at Milan, there came Sgricci, a Tuscan, 
under the patronage of Monti, who puffed him most 
egregiously, especially his tragic improvisati. I 
accompanied de Breme to Casa Crivelli, where I saw 
Swarrow and a cardinal ; a dried-up ganache [?] with 
a face of malice that had dried up with the features of 
the face, but still remained sketched there in pretty 
forcible lines. The improvisator entered ; yellow 


boots with trousers, blue coat, and a Flemish collar to 
his shirt. He began The Loves of Psyche and Cupid ; 
commonplace, unpoetic rhymes. Coriolanus, a tra- 
gedy ; such an abominable opiate that, in spite of 
my pinching myself and Cavalier Breme rousing me 
every minute, I found myself, when ended, roused by 
the applause from a pleasant nap. Heard him again 
at the theatre; terza rima ; The Grief of Mausoka} 
The only bearable parts were those about Aurora, 
night, etc., which he had beforehand prepared, to 
clap-in at convenience, from the Gradus ad Parnassum, 
The tragedy being drawn out, first came The Death of 
Socrates. He came forward, saying that, this subject 
being undramatizable, he would, if the public insisted, 
attempt it, but that he had rather another might be 
drawn. Montezuma came out. " Oh," says he, " this 
will touch your passions too much, and offend many 
probably personally." The public here stoutly 
hissed, and insisted he should proceed ; he as stoutly 
called on the boy to draw, which he did, and, there 
coming forth Eteocles and Polynices, he was satisfied, 
making olla podrida scenica of French ragouts, Italian 
minestras, and Greek black soup. It was reported 
that Monti's taking him up was by the persuasion of 
his daughter. An epigram was written upon Sgricci, 
as follows nearly — 
^ /. e. Artemisia, who built the mausoleum of Halicarnassus. 

MILAN 185 

" In questi tempi senza onore e merto 
Lavora Sgricci in vano, ha un altro il serto." 

[The translation of this couplet is — " In these times 
without honour and merit Sgricci labours in vain — 
another man wears the wreath." It will be seen that 
the epigram, if such it can be considered, runs in 
favour of Sgricci. He was a native of Arezzo, and, as 
our text shows, a renowned improvisatore. I happen 
to possess a printed tragedy of his, Ettore, which is 
notified as having been improvised in the Teatro Ca- 
rignano, Turin, on June 13, 1823. Shelley in January 
182 1 attended one of Sgricci's improvisations, and was 
deeply impressed by it as a wonderful effort, and even, 
considered in itself, a fine poetic success. In 1869, 
being entrusted with some MS. books by Shelley 
through the courtesy of his son the late Baronet, I 
read a tribute of some length which the great English 
poet had paid to the Italian improvisatore : it has 
not yet been published, and is included, I suppose, 
among the Shelley MSS. bequeathed to the Bodleian 
Library. The subject on which Shelley heard 
Sgricci improvise was Hector (Ettore). One rather 
suspects that the Ettore improvised in 1823 may have 
been partly reminiscent of its predecessor in 1821. 
The portrait of Sgricci, a man of some thirty-five 
years of age, appears in the book which I possess : 
it shows a costume of the fancy-kind that Polidori 


speaks of. I have looked through the tragedy, and 
do not concur in the tone of ridicule in which 
Polidori indulges. An improvise can only be 
criticized as an improvise, and this appears to me 
a very fair specimen. — As I have had occasion here 
to re-mention Shelley, I may as well add that Medwin 
{Life of Shelley, vol. i, p. 250), says that the poet had 
no animosity against Polidori, consequent upon any 
past collisions : " Shelley I have often heard speak of 
Polidori, but without any feeling of ill-will."] 

Going one evening with L[ord] B[yron] and Mr. 
H[obhouse] to B[reme]'s box, Mr. Hobhouse, Bor- 
sieri, and myself, went into the pit, standing to look 
at the ballet. An officer in a great-coat came and 
placed himself completely before me with his grena- 
dier's hat on. I remarked it to my companions : 
" Guarda a colui colla sua berretta in testa " (I believe 
those were my words), waiting a few minutes to see if 
he would move. I touched him, and said, " Vorrebbe 
farmi la grazia di levarsi il cappello purch'io vegga ? " 
He turning said " Lo vorreste 1 " with a smile of 
insult. I answered : "SI, lo voglio."^ He then asked 

1 The speeches run thus : (a) Look at that man, with his cap 
on his head, (d) Would you do me the favour of taking off 
your hat, so that I may see? (c) Would you wish for it? 
(d) Yes, I wish it. In Italian, this last phrase has an imperative 
tone, " I win it." — It may be added that the Austrian's phrase 
" Lo vorreste?" was itself not civil : the civil form would have 
been " Lo vorrebbe ella ? '* 

MILAN 187 

me if I would go out with him. I, thinking he meant 
for a duel, said, " Yes, with pleasure " ; and called Mr. 
Hobhouse to accompany me. He did. When pass- 
ing by the guard-house he said, " Go in, go in there " ; 
I said I would not, that it was not there I thought of 
going with him. Then he swore in German, and drew 
half his sabre with a threatening look, but Hobhouse 
held his hand. The police on guard came, and he 
delivered me to their custody. I entered the guard- 
house, and he began declaiming about the insult to 
one like him. I said I was his equal, and, being in 
the theatre, to any one there. " Equal to me ? " he 
retorted ; "you are not equal to the last of the 
Austrian soldiers in the house " ; and then began 
abusing me in all the Billingsgate German he was 
master of — which I did not know till afterwards. In 
the meanwhile the news had spread in the theatre, and 
reached de Breme and L[ord] Byron, who came run- 
ning down, and tried to get me away, but could not on 
any plea. De Breme heard the secretary of police 
say to the officer : " Don't you meddle with this, leave 
it to me." De Breme said he would go to Bubna 
immediately, and get an order for my dismission ; on 
which the officer took Lord Byron's card, as bail that 
I would appear to answer for my conduct on the 
morrow. Then I was released. 

Next morning I received a printed order from 
the police to attend. As soon as I saw the order 


I went to De Breme, who accompanied me to the 
gate. I entered. " Where do you wish your pass- 
port vised for?" "I am not thinking of going." 
"You must be off in four-and -twenty hours for 
Florence." " But I wish for more time." " You 
must be off in that time, or you will have some- 
thing disagreeable happen to you." Breme, upon 
hearing this, immediately set off to Bubna, and I 
to Lord Byron, who sent Mr. Hobhouse in company 
of Colonel McSomething to Swarrow to ask that I 
might not be obliged to go. They went. Swarrow 
received them with a pen in his hand ; said it was 
a bagatelle ; that the Secretary of Police had been 
there in the morning, and that he had told him of it. 
That it was nothing, that I should find myself as well 
off in any other city as there, and that, if I stayed, 
something worse might happen. Hobhouse tried to 
speak. S[warrow] advanced a foot ; " Give my 
compliments to Lord Byron ; am sorry I was not at 
home when he called." " But if this is so mere a 
trifle . . ." — "I hope Lord Byron is well"; advanc- 
ing another foot, and then little by little got them 
so near the door that they saw it was useless, and 
left him. De Breme in the meanwhile had been 
to Bubna. Bubna received him very politely, and 
said he had already seen Colonel M., who had ex- 
plained to him the whole ; and that for the mistake 
of speaking to the officer on guard he thought it 

MILAN 189 

enough that I had been put under arrest. " I 
am much obHged to you, and am glad then that 
my friend will not have to leave Milan." " What do 
you mean ? " Breme explained. " It is impossible, 
there must be some mistake, for I have had no 
memorial of it. I will see Swarrow this evening 
about it." De Breme mentioned with what idea I had 
left the theatre. Bubna said that German soldiers 
had one prejudice less; and at the theatre in the 
evening I heard many instances of the officers of 
the Austrian Army acting meanly in this respect. 
Amongst others, Bubna's son, being challenged for 
insulting a lady at a public ball, accepted the 
challenge, but said there were several things he had 
to settle first, and that he would appoint a day for the 
following week. He left Milan the Saturday before. 
A young Italian had a dispute with a Hussar officer, 
and challenged him, for which he was brought before 
the police and reprimanded. Some days after, the 
officer, standing at a coffee-room door, asked him if 
he wished to settle the affair with him. He said yes, 
and they immediately entered. The officer spoke to 
several of his companions in the room, and they all 
struck the young man, and pushed him out. He 
could get no redress. 

[This affair of Dr. Polidori's shindy in the theatre 
excited some remark. His feelings in favour of Italy 
and Italians were keen, as he was himself half Italian 


by blood ; and he was evidently not disinclined to 
pick a quarrel with an Austrian military man. He 
was indiscreet, and indeed wrong, in asking an 
Austrian officer on guard to take off his cap ; and, 
although he addressed the officer at first in courteous 
terms, his expression " Lo voglio " was not to be 
brooked even by a civilian. Lord Byron mentioned 
the matter in a letter to his sister, November 6, 1816, 
as follows : " Dr. Polidori, whom I parted with before 
I left Geneva (not for any great harm, but because he 
was always in squabbles, and had no sort of conduct), 
contrived at Milan, which he reached before me, to 
get into a quarrel with an Austrian, and to be ordered 
out of the city by the Government. I did not even 
see his adventure, nor had anything to do with it, 
except getting him out of arrest, and trying to get 
him altogether out of the scrape." And on the same 
day to Thomas Moore. "On arriving at Milan I 
found this gentleman in very good society, where he 
prospered for some weeks ; but at length, in the 
theatre, he quarrelled with an Austrian officer, and 
was sent out by the Government in twenty-four hours. 
I could not prevent his being sent off; which, indeed, 
he partly deserved, being quite in the wrong, and 
having begun a row for row's sake. He is not a bad 
fellow, but young and hot-headed, and more likely to 
incur diseases than to cure them." Beyle likewise 
has left an account of the affair, translated thus. 

MILAN 191 

" One evening, in the middle of a philosophical 
argument on the principle of utility, Silvio Pellico, a 
delightful poet, came in breathless haste to apprise 
Lord Byron that his friend and physician Polidori 
had been arrested. We instantly ran to the guard- 
house. It turned out that Polidori had fancied him- 
self incommoded in the pit by the fur cap of the 
officer on guard, and had requested him to take it 
off, alleging that it impeded his view of the stage. 
The poet Monti had accompanied us, and, to the 
number of fifteen or twenty, we surrounded the 
prisoner. Every one spoke at once. Polidori was 
beside himself with passion, and his face red as a 
burning coal. Byron, though he too was in a violent 
rage, was on the contrary pale as ashes. His patrician 
blood boiled as he reflected on the slight consideration 
in which he was held. The Austrian officer ran from 
the guard-house to call his men, who seized their 
arms that had been piled on the outside. Monti's idea 
was excellent : * Sortiamo tutti — restino solamente 
i titolati ' (Let us all go out — only the men of title to 
remain). De Breme remained, with the Marquis di 
Sartirana, his brother, Count Confalonieri, and Lord 
Byron. These gentlemen having written their names 
and titles, the list was handed to the officer on guard, 
who instantly forgot the insult offered to his fur cap, 
and allowed Polidori to leave the guard-house. In 
the evening, however, the Doctor received an order to 


quit Milan within twenty-four hours. Foaming with 
rage, he swore that he would one day return and 
bestow manual castigation on the Governor who had 
treated him with so little respect." — One other obser- 
vation of Beyle, regarding Polidori and Byron, may be 
introduced here. " Polidori informed us that Byron 
often composed a hundred verses in the course of the 
morning. On his return from the theatre in the 
evening, still under the charm of the music to which 
he had listened, he would take up his papers, and 
reduce his hundred verses to five-and-twenty or thirty. 
He often sat up all night in the ardour of composition." 
— As Polidori's passport is prominently mentioned 
at this point of the Diary, I may add a few particulars 
about it. It was granted on April 17, 18 16, by the 
Conte Ambrogio Cesare San Martino d'Aglia, 
Minister of the King of Sardinia in London ; and it 
authorized Polidori to travel in Italy — no mention 
being made of Switzerland, nor yet of Lord Byron. 
The latest visa on the passport is at Pisa, for 
going to Florence. This is signed " II Governatore, 
Viviani," whom we may safely assume to have been 
a relative of Shelley's Emilia. The date of this final 
visa is February 17, 18 17.] 

October 30. — Got up early next morning, packed up 
my books and things ; then went to seek for a coach 
that was parting for Lodi. Found one, and fixed that 

LODI 193 

a vetturino, who was going to set off next day for 
Florence, should take me up at Lodi. Went to see 
de Breme. He told me he had been to Bubna's, but 
that he had found him out at a council of war, and 
that he had left an order none should follow him. I 
took leave of de Breme, and wept in his arms like a 
child, for his kindness and friendship had been dear 
to me. I took leave of L[ord] B[yron], H[obhouse], 
and Guasco. The last offered me his services in any 
way, and said he should take it as a favour the oftener 
he was applied to. I got into the coach with only 
5 louis in my pocket, leaving my books in the care 
of de Breme, and left Milan with rage and grief so 
struggling in my breast that tears often started in my 
eyes, and all I could think of was revenge against 
Swarrow and the officer in particular, and a hope that 
before I left Italy there might be a rising to which I 
might join myself I arrived at Lodi ; wrote to Lloyd 
to ask him to lend me some money, and went to bed 

October 31. — Up at 9: breakfasted. Went to see 
the Duomo and other churches without feeling inter- 
est ; the hospital, which is a magnificent building. 
Returning to the inn, I met the vetturino. I found 
in the coach a Prussian student of Heidelberg who 
had made the campaigns of '13 and '14 with the 
rest of his companions, and who was banished 


Heidelberg for slapping a Russian in the face. 
Growled against his king for not keeping his promise ; 
hated the French, and gave me an interesting account 
of the way of spending the winter evenings in his part 
of Germany, Pomerania ; the young working at some 
pursuit of hand, the old relating their tale of youth. 
A Milanese woman and son. We went that evening 
to Casal Panterlungo. Supped and went to bed, I 
and the Prussian in the same room. 

November 2. — Up at 4. Across the Taro to Parma. 
Went, in spite of my having so little money, in search 
of books — Boccaccio's Fiammetta, The Cathedral 
and Baptistery. From Parma to Reggio, a beautiful 
town with fine palaces and porticoes, though, on 
account of the few inhabitants, appearing a huge 
sepulchre. To Rubiera : supped and slept. 

November 3. — Up at 4. Through Modena, where 
I saw the Duomo, and the Tower which contains the 
Lecchia porticoes — palaces of the Duke — four orders 
heaped one on the other. Here they examined my 
box, and were going to send it to the dogana on 
account of books; when, upon my saying I was a 
physician, they let them pass. 

At Bologna supped with the Prussian. To the 
opera. Saw a ballet, extremely ridiculous : barbarian 
dances with astonishing powers of limbs forming in 
the air [postures] out and in on their feet. 


November 4. — Up at 9. Went to see the churches 
and [a] private gallery. After dinner roamed about 
the town in a most melancholy mood, entering the 
churches and sitting in the dark for an hour, etc. 
Went to the Theatre of Cento Cavalli : beautiful 
Greek architecture. To bed — a play. 

November 5. — At 10, expecting to have been called 
before, the vetturino came, saying he would not go, 
since I had hindered the Prussian from setting off on 
Monday, without security ; and that he would go to 
the police to gain it from the Prussian that he should 
be paid at Florence. After a good deal of disputing 
I gave it, in a promissory note that I would pay if 
he could not. Found afterwards it was only to get 

Went to see the churches, the public place, San 
Prospero, the Neptune. After dinner to Madonna 
Santa Lucia. Along the portico " Questo e da 
vendere " ^ was written on portions of the wall. The 
public cemetery. Saw a coffin, when dark, brought 
into the church with torches. The poor are separated 
from the rich, and have only the turf upon them : the 
rich groan under the weight of marble. The priests, 
monks, nuns, etc., all in separate squares ; a cardinal's 
hat covering a death's head. 

Returned to Bologna. Went to the theatre. Saw 
1 "To be sold." 


Agnese : wept like a child : the acting of the madman 
inimitable. Went to bed. 

November 6. — Up at ii. Set off with the Prussian 
and an Italian officer across the Apennines. Oxen in 
continual use. Misty, so could not enjoy the view. 
Dreadful winds to Pianoro. That evening the officer 
related all the services he had been in ; French 
liberty, Consulship, Emperor. Refused by the 
Austrians ; went to Murat, and now going to offer 
himself to the Pope ; if not accepted, to America. 
For which side ? " Spanish or Creole." ^ He had the 
unfeelingness to joke upon his father's being killed in 
the time of the liberty-rows, saying he got that for not 
changing ; on which I felt so nettled that I spoke for 
half-an-hour upon the ruin the fickleness of the 
Italians had brought upon themselves. He felt, I 
think, ashamed ; at least he gave up that kind of light 

Forgot to say that at Modena I presented^ my 
passport so that the ** 24 hours " were invisible ; and 
left at Modena one who had accompanied us from 
Piacenza, telling the most barefaced lies about boars, 
dogs, and thieves, that were ever heard. 

^ These words form (I suppose) the answer of the Italian 
officer—/, e. he would side with either party indifferently. 

^ I presume that the word should be " presented " : the 
writing looks like "pented." 


November 7. — At 4 up. Arrived at night at 
Fortebuona. Dreadful wind and rain. Supped and 
went to bed. 

November 8. — At 5 walked a good part of the 
road. Arrived at Florence by the Porta San Gallo, 
through the Arch. The custom-house officer, when 
we told him, if he wanted to look, he might open, 
[replied] : " Che ? Un servo del sovrano ? Ci sono dei 
facchini." ^ 

Florence, on entering, disappointed me, as we were 
obliged to go round on account of the road being 
mended. Went to the inn. Dressed — not having 
changed linen since Milan. Went to the post : no 
letters. In despair, remaining with only four scudi. 
Walked about the town, — Arno : into the Cathedral 
and Baptistery. 

Went to seek Cavalier Pontelli.^ Knocked at his 
door, along Arno — both before and behind. Could 
not make any one hear. One who lived near 
(Lecchini), upon my asking how to get in, said he was 
thankful to say he was not Pontelli, and did not know. 
Returned home. Gave the Prussian a missal I had 

^ "What? A servant of the sovereign ? There are porters." 
2 I suppose that Pontelli was a person who had been more or 
less known to Dr. Polidori's father before the latter left Italy in 
1787, and that the father had given his son some letter of intro- 
duction or the like. Or possibly the introduction came from 
some acquaintance in Geneva or in Milan. 


bought at Bologna. He broke my pipe. Went to 
bed. Wrote to Pontelli and Breme. 

November 9. — Got up ; went to seek Pontelli. 
Found he had a villa at Porta San Gallo. Went 
thither, knocked ; saw his head pop out of the window 
in a greasy night-cap. On my announcing myself, 
he descended, opened the door, and received me 
with welcome. Found him at breakfast, sausages, 
caviare, etc. Sat down ; told me his housekeeper would 
not show herself ; invited me to come to his house 
instead of the inn. Went into town ; took a peep at 
the Gallery — at the precious vases, Venus, etc. Went 
to the inn. Put up my things, paid ; and, seeing 
the Prussian envied me my desk, I gave it him, on 
condition that, if we ever met again, he would paint 
me a picture he sketched in my album. Went to 
Pontelli ; dined; accompanied him to town. His 
servant took a porter to carry my things to the Arno 
house, and then we went to pay visits. 

In the way he told me he lived very retired, and 
very economically that he might not want ; that the 
people now looked upon him with a good eye ; that 
the Government also did not prosecute him ; and that 
he in fine thought that a revolution would be general 
— trying to persuade me that his avarice was mere 

Went to pay a visit to Cavalier Tomasi, a Cortonian. 


Found many in the room, who all sat upon me about 
English politics. Left them when they were going 
to play. Thence to Abate Fontani, Librarian of the 
Riccardi Library. Talked of Madame de Stael, 
Finch, etc. 

Returned home. Found I was in the house of the 
Capponis, Pontelli having the lower storey. 

November 10. — Up at 9. Dressed in black silk etc., 
the housekeeper going to mass ; and, Pontelli appar- 
ently not being willing that I should accompany her, 
I went out a little after, and went to the same church, 
where I spoke with her. Looked at the church ; and 
then went to San Lorenzo, Santo Spirito [Santa 
Croce],^ where I saw the tomb of Galileo, Machiavelli, 
Alfieri, Cosmo de* Medici, etc. 

Returned, and went with a letter from de Breme 
to the Countess of Albany. Found there several. 
Presented my letter : " Very like your father." 

[The Countess of Albany, it need hardly be said, 
was the widow of Prince Charles Edward Stuart, 
the "Young Pretender." Born in 1752, Princess of 
Stolberg-Gedern, she married the Prince in 1772. 
Being much ill-treated by him, she left him, and 
maintained a practically conjugal relation with Conte 

1 The name of Santa Croce is not in the MS. : but it ought 
to be, as this is the church containing the sepulchral monuments 
of Galileo, etc. 


Vittorio Alfieri, the famous dramatic poet: they 
could have married after a while, but no nuptial 
ceremony took place. Alfieri died in 1803, ^^^ the 
Countess then became very intimate with a French 
painter, much younger than herself, named Fabre. 
She died in Florence in January 1824. If Dr. Polidori 
had been a Jacobite, he would have held that, in 
waiting upon the Countess of Albany, he w^as in 
the presence of the Queen Dowager of the United 
Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. It will be 
observed that the Countess told Polidori that he was 
"very like his father." The latter had, from 1787 to 
1789, been secretary to the Conte Alfieri, and had 
known the Countess in Colmar and Paris. In one 
of his privately printed books he has left on record 
a little anecdote of the royal dame, which, trifling as 
it is, may find a place here. " While the Conte 
Alfieri was slowly recovering health I was invited 
to pass the evenings with him and the Countess, so 
that on various occasions I ^/ui terzo tra cotanto 
senno! ^ But this honour did not last long. For 
one time when I was with them the lady turned her 
eyes on me, and asked Alfieri why my thighs were 
rounded while his were flat. * Stuff and nonsense,' 
he replied, wrinkling his nose, and he passed on to 

1 " Was third amid so much intellect." The phrase is adapted 
from a line in Dante's Inferno. 


some different talk. From that time I no more had 
the honour of being one of the exalted party ; neither 
could I complain of this, for I myself felt that that 
question had been unseemly, and more in character 
for a drab than for a discreet and modest lady."] 

Conversation became general. Republics being 
brought upon the tapis, I took to defending them, 
especially against a gentleman near me. After some 
time he went, and I gathered he was brother to the 
King of Prussia. 

Took my leave, and came to dinner, after going to 
the caffe to wait for Pontelli. Rain hindered him 
from keeping his appointment, so that I went at last 
alone to San Gallo, he having the custom of staying 
the Sundays only in town. Was presented by him 
to Lecchini, the Inspector of Police, who recognized 
me as a Tuscan, and the domiciliary communication 
was made out as such. 

November 11. — Tried to stay at home. Forced by 
Pontelli's long-in-vain repeated hints to go out ; 
jealous of his young housekeeper, though she is 
hardly worth it. Roamed about, dined, and went 
to bed. 

November 12. — Same. Dined with him at a 

November 13. — Got up at 7 ; tired of Pontelli, and 
set off for Arezzo, with a shirt in my pocket and 


with my dog. When at Incisa it began to rain ; 
walked on through Feline, Monte Varchi, to Arezzo. 
Thunder and lightning excessive, with violent rain. 
I was at last so numbed that when roused I seemed 
to be wakened ; my dog could not stand it, but at 
7 miles from Arezzo fell. I did not perceive it, but 
walked on. Arrived at 8, having walked 45 miles 
in 12 hours, having stopped once at Incisa to eat 
and rest. Found my uncle's house ; knocked. The 
servant, hearing I was his nephew, flew up-stairs, and 
I met a tall, stout, slovenly woman, my aunt. On 
the second storey, where they lodged, they made a 
fire. I changed my things for my uncle's, and while 
changing he arrived — a tall, stout, handsome, mild- 
looking man. Put myself to bed ; ate, and they left 
me to sleep. 

[This uncle, Luigi Polidori, was a physician, and 
had a considerable reputation for the cure of the 
local typhoid fever (tifo).] 

November 14. — Found myself well ; no cold, only 
my left groin stiff from a wound in my foot. Saw 
my two cousins, Pippo and Teresa ; put myself to 
study. After 6 went with my uncle to Signor Gori, 
where I heard music. Four or five girls wanting 
husbands, two priests, whitewashed walls, and several 
young men, were the entertainment. 

While at Arezzo, my life was quiet enough ; study 


till I went out at 6, when I went to play at cards and 
talk at Signor Gori's. Saw the prisons. One of the 
descendants of a true Lombard family walking about 
in a dirty sailor-looking jacket. Signora Onesti and 
daughter the most abominable scandal-talkers I ever 
heard, though she was a Pitti. Library always shut. 
The School of Ignatius a fine building. Churches 
fine : the Chapel of St. Mary, the Cathedral with the 
basso-rilievo altars, the church with the altar painted 
by Vasari, etc. — I recovered my dog. 

November 21. — Set off to return to Florence with 
half-a-scudo in my pocket ; having refused to accept 
from my uncle, not being wiUing to let him know 
how it stood. Frost on the ground : hurt my foot. 
Lost my dog again at Montesarchi. At Feline got 
into a carriage, not being able to do more on account 
of my foot. Met a physician, a cavaliere and his 
wife. Arrived at 7 ; Pontelli lent me a scudo to pay. 

November 22, 23, 24. — Stayed at Pontelli's on account 
of my foot, though Pontelli tried to send me out 
under pretence that I should see the town. But, not 
being able, he stayed at home till 6, when he told me 
I had better go to bed — which I generally did to quiet 
him. No letters according to servant. 

November 25. — Tired of Pontelli. That I might go 
to Pisa, I issued out intending to sell my watch-chain ; 
but as a last chance looked at the Post Office, and 


found two letters from Lloyd, who, as soon as he had 
received my letter, set off from Venice to see me. 
On the road he lost his purse with 36 louis, and, 
having no letters at Florence, he could only give me 
20 scudi. Received me with great kindness, and 
assured me that, while he had money, I should never 
want. Dined with him and Somers. They advised 
me to settle in Florence as physician to the English. 
I however determined to see Vacca first ; wished him 
good-bye, as he was obliged to go to Rome for money. 

[There were two brothers named Vacca, or Vacca 
Berlinghieri, who had been known to Gaetano Polidori 
in Pisa before he left Italy with Alfieri. Gaetano 
(who was a native of Bientlna near Pisa, his family 
belonging chiefly to Pontedera) also stayed in the 
same house with the Vacccis in Paris after leaving 
his secretaryship with the Count. They were then 
both medical students. One of them, Leopoldo — 
who had been intimate with Napoleon while the latter 
was in the Military College — abandoned medicine, 
and served under the French empire in Spain, dying 
not many years afterwards. The other brother, 
Andrea, attained an European reputation in medicine, 
and especially surgery: Shelley, when in Pisa, con- 
sulted him more than once.] 

November 26. — Went to seek the Naviglio, to go 
by water to Pisa. At going out, stopped by the 

PISA 205 

gate-officer, who, on hearing me enquire where the 
boat was, would not let me pass without proofs of 
my being originario Toscano ; so I went to Lecchini, 
and got him to write me a declaration. The boat 
could not set off to-day, so returned to Pontelli and 
went to bed. 

November 27. — At 7 set off in the boat on the 
Arno for Pisa. 

November 29, 30, December i. — Stayed in my room, 
copying Osteologia of my grandfather. 

[This Osteologia is a treatise on osteology written 
in verse — octave stanzas. The author was Agostino 
Ansano Polidori, by profession a surgeon, born in 
1 7 14 and deceased in 1778. In 1847 Gaetano Polidori 
printed this poem at his private press. He had pre- 
viously made a MS. copy of it, with an introduction 
giving a few family-particulars. One statement made 
in this introduction is that the mother of Agostino 
was a Florentine lady named Folchi — " perhaps " (so 
says Gaetano Polidori) *' descended from an English 
family domiciled in Florence, which may have changed 
its name Folks into Folchi."] 

December 2. — Up at 9 ; went to see Vacca ; still at 
hospital. While waiting for him, saw an Austrian 
colonel, who, in the excess of his gratitude to Vaccci, 
called him the Dio della Medicina. Vacca expressed 
great joy to see me ; told me to make his house my 


own ; to dine there when I chose, and often ; to 
begin to-day ; not to use ceremony. Left me, and I 
returned home; went to dine at V[acca]'s. Intro- 
duced me to his wife, a pleasing pretty French- 
woman, the former wife of his brother ; he had just 
obtained the Pope's dispensation to marry her. Spent 
the evening there. 

December 3, 4, to 21. — Went to the hospital in the 
mornings when Vacca was not ill; three or four 
times to the Library. Studied in the mornings ; went 
to dine either at Vacca's or at eating-house ; always 
evenings at Vacca's. Corsi, a well-informed lawyer, 
cav[alier] serv[ente] to V[acca ?] ; ^ Mario ex cav[alier] 
serv[ente]. Cecco Castanelli, Pachiani, etc. ; chess 
with the English ; with Vacca. For the various 
information I obtained there see notes. 

[The Pachiani (or Pacchiani) here mentioned must 
certainly be the same Abate Pachiani who in 1820 
introduced Shelley to the Contessina Emilia Viviani, 
to whom the poet dedicated his Epipsychidion. 
Medwin, in his Life of Shelley, a book which does not 
now obtain many readers, gives a lively but partly 
very unfavourable account of Pachiani : I append a few 
extracts from it, more as being relevant to Shelley 
than to Polidori. " Pachiani was about fifty years of 
age, somewhat above the common height, with a 
^ Rather (it must be understood) to Signora Vacck. 

PISA 207 

figure bony and angular. His face was dark as that 
of a Moor. During the reign of Austrian despotism 
he was admirably calculated for a spy. As to his 
religion, it was about on a par with that of I'Abate 
Casti. At Pisa, il Signore Professore was the title 
by which he was generally known. He lost [his 
professorship] by an irresistible bon mot. During one 
of his midnight orgies, which he was in the habit of 
celebrating with some of the most dissolute of the 
students, he was interrogated, in the darkness, by the 
patrole in the streets of Pisa as to who and what he 
was, — to which questioning he gave the following 
reply : * Son un uomo pubblico, in una strada pubblica, 
con una donna pubblica.' His epigrams wtx^sanglants, 
and he gave sobriquets the most happy for those 
who offended him. His talent was conversation — a 
conversation full of repartee and sparkling with wit ; 
and his information (he was a man of profound 
erudition, vast memory, and first-rate talent) made 
him almost oracular. He was a mezzano, cicerone, 
conoscitore, dilettante, and I might add ruffiano."^] 
December 21. — Went in the evening to the Countess 
Mastrani's. Ices, iced people, prepared poetry, music. 
Went to the theatre, in the days past, several times. 
Saw Goldoni's BugiardOy with Harlequin etc. 

^ Rufifiano does not correspond to our word " ruffian," but to 
" pimp " or " go-between." 


December 22. — As usual. 

December 23. — Same. 

December 24. — Ditto. 

December 25. — Christmas-day. Walked along Arno. 
Spent the evening and dined at Vacca's. 

December 26. — Up at 7. Went with Vacca to 
Leghorn, a neat, regular, well-built town. The 
first thing I went in search of was the sea, and I 
stood gazing some time on the waves. The Public 
Place and Strada Maestra fine. Saw Vescali's 
collection of alabasters. Returned by 3. Dined 
with Vacca. Went to the theatre with Mrs. Vacca, 
who introduced me to Signora Bettina Franciuoli. 

December 27. — As usual. Up at 4 — dined at Vacca's 
— went to theatre, and to B.'s box. 

December 28. — Went to hear nella Chiesa dei 
Cavalieri (after a ride with Mrs. Vacca) Nicolini play 
a sonata upon the organ, which is perhaps the finest 
in Italy. There were the Prince Villafranca, the 
Countess Castelfiel, Princess della Pace, and other 
nobles. At Vacca's and theatre. 

December 29. — Up at 3 J. Dined at Vacca's: 
theatre. English etc. as usual. 

December 30. — Up at i. Reading Sismondi. Got 
up — went to Vacca to dine. After English, to the 
Casa Mastrani : all evening with Sofia. The others 
— Biribro, Dionigi. 


[According to a letter from Lord Byron, April 11, 
181 7, Dr. Polidori had at least three patients at Pisa 
— Francis Horner, a child of Thomas Hope, and 
Francis North, Lord Guilford. They all died — 
which may or may not have been partly the Doctor's 

With this entry we come to the end of Dr. 
Polidori's Diary — although (as I have before intimated) 
not by any means to the end of his sojourn in Italy. 
He saw Byron again in April 18 17 in Venice: 
Shelley, to the best of my knowledge, he never 

I add here two letters which Polidori wrote to his 
sister Frances (my mother, then a girl of only sixteen), 
and two to his father. The first letter was written 
soon after beginning the journey with Byron ; the 
last not long after the date of parting from him. I 
also add a letter sent to Mr. Hobhouse during 
Polidori's sojourn with Byron, and a note, of much 
later date, written by Mrs. Shelley to my father, 
Gabriele Rossetti. 

The letter to Mr. Hobhouse, it will be observed, 
goes over some of the same details which appear in 
the Diary. This letter has been copied by me from 
the Broughton Papers, in the Manuscript Department 
of the British Museum (Add. MSS. 36456 to 36483)^ 
I did my best to trace whether these papers contain 


anything else relating to Polidori, and I do not think 
they do. In fact, the affairs of Lord Byron, and the 
very name of him, scarcely figure in those Broughton 
Papers at all : for instance, I could not find anything 
relating to his death. 

John Polidori to Frances Polidori. 

My dear Fanny, 

I shall see Waterloo in a day or two — don't 
you wish to be with me ? but there are many more 
things that I have seen which would have given you 
as much pleasure. Shakespear's Cliff at Dover, the 
French coast, the phosphorescent sea, Bruges, Ghent, 
Antwerp, and Brussels, have all got more than is in 
any of Feinaigh's plates to excite the memory to 
bring forth its hidden stores. The people amongst 
whom we are at present dwelling is one that has 
much distinguished itself in the noblest career, the 
race for liberty ; but that tends little to the ennobling 
of a people without the sun of literature also deigns 
to shine upon them. 

It was not the warlike deeds, the noble actions, of 
the Greeks and Romans or modern Italians, that has 
rescued these names from the effacing daub of obli- 
vion ; if it had not been for their poets, their his- 
torians, their philosophers, their heroes would in vain 
have struggled for fame. Their actions would have 


been recorded in the dusty legends of monks, and 
consequently have been forgotten, like those of the 
Belgians, Carthaginians, and others. How many fine 
actions of modern times will be buried in oblivion 
from the same want, and how many merely secondary 
characters will be handed down with a halo round 
their deeds reflected from the pages of historic genius ! 

I am very pleased with Lord Byron. I am with 
him on the footing of an equal, everything alike : at 
present here we have a suite of rooms between us. 
I have my sitting-room at one end, he at the other. 
He has not shown any passion ; though we have 
had nothing but a series of mishaps that have put me 
out of temper though they have not ruffled his. The 
carriage, the new carriage, has had three stoppages. 
We are at present at Brussels merely to have the 
carriage-part well looked at and repaired. 

The country till here has been one continued flat ; 
and, except within this neighbourhood, we have not 
seen a rising ground on which to feast our eyes. 
Long avenues paved in the middle form the continued 
appearance of our roads. The towns are magnificently 
old, such as England cannot rival, and the state of 
cultivation is much greater than in England : indeed 
we have not seen a weed or a foot of waste ground 
all our way. The people in the country show no 
misery ; the cottages comfortable, whitewashed, large- 



windowed, shining with brass utensils internally, and 
only having as many heaps of dirt as there are in- 
habitants — who certainly throw away all their clean- 
liness upon the house, fields, roads, and windows. 
But I will not fill my letter with this, as some time 
you will either see my Journal in writing or print — 
Murray having offered me 500 guineas for it through 
Lord Byron. L[ord] B[yron] is going to give me the 
manuscript, when done printing, of his new cantos of 
Childe Harold} 

Have you seen Mrs. Soane and Mr. S[oane] ? how 
are they? If you see them, remember me to her and 
him. I shall write when I have seen the seat of his 
hero's glory, mine's disgrace ; no, not disgrace — 
misfortune. See Mrs. S[oane], and write how she is. 

How are you all at home } Papa, Mamma, Meggy 
(have you heard from her?), Charlotte, Bob, Henry, 
Eliza, and Mr. Deagostini. Remember me to all, and 
to all who enquire about me not merely from curiosity 
— telling me in your next whether they exceed the 
number o. I am very well, and wrote Mamma from 

I remain, my dear Fanny, 

Your affect. Brother, 


Brussels, May 2, 18 16. 

1 No doubt this intention was not carried into effect. 


Write to me — Dr. Polidori, a Geneve, poste restante, 
— and soon, as I shall be there in 1 2 days. 

To John Hobhouse, Whitton Park, 


Coblentz, May 11, 1816. 

Dear Sir, 

As we are at last some way on our 
journey, I take a sheet of paper up, in despair of 
filling it, to tell you we are both well and hearty. 
Lord Byron's health is greatly improved, his stomach 
returning rapidly to its natural state. Exercise and 
peace of mind, making great advances towards the 
amendment of his corps delabre^ leave little for 
medicine to patch up. His spirits, I think, are also 
much improved. He blithely carols through the day, 
* Here's to you, Tom Brown ' : and, when he has 
done, says, * That's as well as Hobhouse does it.' 
You and his other friend, Scrope Davies, form a great 
subject of conversation. 

God ! here I am at the end of all my thoughts. 
Oh no ! Waterloo was ridden over by my Lord on a 
Cossack horse, accompanied by myself on a Flemish 
steed ; Lord Byron singing Turkish or Arnaout 
riding-tunes, and your h[umble] s[ervant] listening. 
We had a very good day of it. Lord Byron visited 
Howard's (I think, Colonel) burying-place twice. 


We have had two days by preeminence in our 
tour — to-day and Waterloo. To-day we came from 
Bonn hither through the finest scenes I ever saw, 
modern and ancient; the 13th and i8th century 
forming an olla podrida with the bases given in the 
year i. Towers and towns and castles and cots were 
sprinkled on the side of a . . . But here I am on 
poetic stilts, cut short for prose ones. 

They boast — the Ministerialists and others — of 
ours being the happy land. I should like to carry 
John Bull to Flanders and the Rhine : happiness, 
content, cleanliness (here and there), husbandry, 
plenty without luxury, are here bestowed on all. 
War has had no effect upon the fields ; and even at 
Waterloo no one (except for the glittering button 
or less brilliant cuirass in beggar's hand) would 
imagine two such myriaded armies had met there. 
No sulkiness is seen upon the face here, and no impu- 
dence. On the Rhine and in Flanders there are 
hardly any beggars. To-day we had nosegays given 
us by little girls for centimes. But the other day, 
coming to Battice, we met the best beggars : three 
little girls, pretty though not well dressed, ran 
along our carriage, crying out — " Donnez-nous un 
sou. Monsieur le G6n6ral en chef"; and another, 
" Chef de bataillon." Having given these some, a 
boy followed, pulling faces comic enough to make 


such grave dons laugh, and crying out, "Vivent 
Messieurs les Rois des Hanoveriens — donnez-moi 
un sou." 

As I fear I have tried your eyes, and lost my 
pains after all on account of the illegibility of my 
accursed pen's scratches, I must end — assuring you 
at the same time I am with esteem 

Yours etc., 


We count upon being at Geneva in ten days at 
best. Excuse the bad writing etc., for I am in a 
fever of digestion after my ride. — J. P. 

To Gaetano Polidori. 

September 20, 1816. 

My dear Father, 

You judged right with regard to my 
writing. I had written twice since your letter 
announcing The Pamphleteer^ and was anxiously 
waiting yours. Your letter gave me pleasure ; 
and I was indeed in want of some just then, for 
I was in agitation for my parting from Lord 
Byron. We have parted, finding that our tempers 
did not agree. He proposed it, and it was settled. 
There was no immediate cause, but a continued 
series of slight quarrels. I believe the fault, if any. 


has been on my part ; I am not accustomed to have 
a master, and therefore my conduct was not free and 
easy. I found on settling accounts that I had 70 
napoleons ; I therefore determined to walk over 
Italy, and (seeing the medical establishments) see if 
there proves a good opportunity to settle myself, so 
that I hope I am still off your hands for nine 
months : perhaps Lady Westmorland, who is at 
Rome, is desirous of having an English physician 
for longer, I having a letter for her from Mme. de 
Stael. I shall write to-day to Vacca and Zio [uncle] 
for letters to Milan to physicians, in your name; and 
at present, till I think they and my trunks can have 
arrived, will wander amongst the Alps, — in which 
course I am now at Thun, almost in the centre. I 
have seen Mont Blanc and its glaciers, and will see 
the Jungfrau, Grindelwald, and Grimsel. Then I 
will go by the Simplon to Milan, whither direct to 
me poste-restante, only putting my Giovanni etc. 
names in full, as there are Polidoris there.^ I am 
in good health and spirits ; I hope this won't hurt 
yours, for assure yourself I will do all I can not 
to allow you to feel any inconvenience on my 

Remember me to my mother, who I know will 

* These Polidoris were not (so far as I know) members of the 
same family as John Polidori. 


feel deeply this disappointment ; to Mary,^ Fanny, 
and Charlotte, to Signor Deagostini and Signor De 
Ocheda, and to all. 

If you could get me letters of introduction, they 
would be of great use. In the meanwhile, my dear 
father, believe me 

Your affectionate son, 

John Polidori. 

John Polidori to Gaetano Polidori— 

Arezzo, November 14, 1816. 

Dear Father, 

I fear you must be in much anxiety at not 
having heard from me for so long ; but the reason 
was that I did not wish to write before having seen 
my uncle — to whom I went the day before yesterday, 
and who received me with great affection and pleasure. 
I wrote to him from Thun. Thence I went to 
Grindelwald and Lauterbrunner ; thence to Inter- 
lachen, and, by the Lake of Brientz, to Meyringen ; by 
the Grimsel in the Valais to Obergasteln ; thence to 
Brieg ; and then by the Simplon down to Farinoli 
in the Borromean Islands. Thence I embarked to 
Sestri Calende ; thence to Milan — where, meeting the 

* This was Dr. Polidori's elder sister, Maria Margaret, who 
in my time was invariably called " Margaret " in the family. 


poet Monti, Lord Byron, Monsignor de Breme, and 
others of my acquaintance, I remained some weeks. 
Thence I went to Florence, by Bologna, Modena, 
Parma, and Piacenza, and crossing the Apennines. In 
Florence I stayed two days, and saw Cavalier 
Pontelli, Abate Fontani, Dr. FVosini, and others. 
Thence I went on foot to Arezzo, where I found my 
uncle, my aunt, Pippo, and Teresa, all well ; and they 
received me with great cordiality into their house, 
where I now am. 

Seeing, by your letter to my uncle, in how much 
trouble you are on my account, I have determined, 
after learning whether Lady Westmorland will employ 
me or no — if yes, to go to Rome ; if no, to go straight 
from Leghorn to London, to the bosom of my family. 
I shall soon hear from Lady Westmorland, as Lady 
Jersey undertook, at the instance of Monsignor de 
Breme, to ask her mother whether she wants me or 
not, and she is now in Florence, en route for Rome. 
In case she should tell me yes, I shall at once go to 
Rome : but meanwhile I don't proceed any farther 
than Arezzo. If she says no, I shall be off to Leghorn, 
and return to London. 

I wish that in your next letter you would send me 
enough money, in a bill on Florence, for paying the 
passage from Leghorn to London, for the chance of 
my not having enough remaining. . . . 


When I see you again I shall have much to tell you 
about, but will not put it into a letter. Suffice it that 
I have found that what you told me about Italy is 
but too true. I am in good health. . . . 

Your affectionate son, 

John Polidori. 

[To this letter the uncle Luigi Polidori added 
something. One point regarding Lord Byron is of a 
certain interest.] 

I became indignant at some references [made by 
John Polidori] to the strange conduct of that Lord 
with whom he was travelling : but he kept his temper 
well — I envy him for that. All these people are hard : 
Saevus enim ferme sensus communis in ilia fortuna. 
—Patience ! 

[My father, about the date of this ensuing letter, met 
Mrs. Shelley several times, and he liked her well. He 
did not think her good-looking : indeed I have heard 
him say " Era brutta " (she was ugly). — The letter is 
written in fairly idiomatic, but by no means faultless, 
Italian. — I am not aware whether Gaetano Polidori 
supplied Mrs. Shelley with information, such as she 
asked for, for her Biography of Alfieri : perhaps a 
minute inspection of the book might show. — Cleo- 
patra, acted in 1775, was Alfieri's first attempt at 


Rsiirovr, j4prt7 20, iS^$. 

Courteous Signor Rossetti, 

Thank you so much for your amiable reply, 
and the interest you show in the undertaking of a 
pen but too unworthy of those great names which give 
so much lustre to your country. Meanwhile I am 
about to make a farther request : but am afraid of 
showing myself troublesome, and beg you to tell me 
your opinion sincerely. I should not like to seem to 
take impertinent liberties ; and, if my idea appears 
to you impracticable, don't say anything about it 
to any one. 

I am informed that your Father-in-law the cele- 
brated Polidori can relate many interesting circum- 
stances regarding Alfieri. The Life which 1 am writing 
will be printed in Dr. Lardner's Cyclopcedia : therefore 
it is very short, running perhaps to 70 pages — not 
more. Thus, if I could introduce some details not yet 
known but worthy of publication, I should be very 
pleased indeed. I don't know whether Polidori would 
be willing to give me such details. For example, 
I should like to know whether Alfieri was really so 
melancholy and taciturn as is said by Sir John 
Hobhouse in his work, Illustrations to the Fourth Canto 
of Childe Harold ; whether he gave signs of attach- 
ment to his friends, and whether he was warmly 


loved by them in return. Some anecdotes would be 
welcomed by me; also some information about the 
Countess of Albany. There is an affectation of 
silence, as to all that relates to her, in whatever 
has yet been written concerning Alfieri. But, now 
that she is dead, this is no longer necessary. Were 
they married ? If not, nothing need be said about 
it ; but, if they were, it would be well to affirm as 

I shall be in London next Sunday, and shall be 
staying there several days. But I am in a quarter 
so distant from yours (7 Upper Eaton Street, Gros- 
venor Place) that it would be indiscreet to ask for a 
visit from you — and much more indiscreet to say 
that, if Signor Polidori would visit me, he could 
perhaps tell me some little things more easily than 
by writing. As the Tuscans say, " Lascio far a lei." ^ 
You will do whatever is most fitting, and will give 
me a reply at your convenience. 

Repeating the thanks so much due to your kind- 
ness, believe me 

Your much obliged servant, 

M. W. P. Shelley. 

I hear that Alfieri was intimate with Guiccioli of 
Ravenna, the latter being then quite young ; and 

^ " I leave the question to you." 


they had a joint idea and project (which did not turn 
out manageable) of establishing a national theatre 
in Italy. Possibly Signor Polidori knows about this. 
Is there any historical work containing particulars 
about the closing years of the royal husband of the 
Countess of Albany ? I don't know, and am in the 
dark. He (is it not so ?) was the last of the Stuarts, 
except his brother the Cardinal of York. 

Oh what trouble I am giving you to reply ! Really 
I now feel more than ashamed of it. But you are 
so kind. And, besides, the grammar of this letter 
must be like Alfieri's Cleopatra. 


Agnes E (drama), 196 
Aix-la-Chapelle, 74 
Albany, Countess of, 199-202 
Alfieri, Count, 200, 219-222 
Andreini, 170 

Adamo, by, 170 

Antwerp, 46-51, 54, 55 
Arezzo, 202, 218 
Arrow, Eliza, 31 
Avenches, 93, 94, 96 


Bale, 90, 91 

Battice, 73, 74, 213 

Beauharnais, Prince Eugene, 175 

Berger, 31, 108, no, 135 

Berne, 92 

Beyle, Henri, 173, 177, 190, 192 

Reminiscences of Napoleon, 

by, 177 

Bologna, 194, 195 

Bonn, 80 

Bonnet, Charles, 97 

Bonstetten, C. V. de, 105, 132, 

137, 147, 148 
Borsieri, 173, 174, 177, 186 

// Giorno, by, 177 

Breadalbane, Lord, 139, 145 
Brelaz, Madame, 139, 143-146, 

152, 153, 155, 168, 182 
Breme, Cavalier de, 171, 173, 177 

de (or Brema), Monsignor, 

139, 147, 170, 172-177, 182, 
183, 187-189, 191, 193, 198, 

Breme, de (or Brema), Monsignor 

Inuy by, 176 
Breuss, Countess, 12, 13, 17, 134, 

141-143, 152 
Bridgens, R., 3 

Costumes of Italy, etc.f 

by, 3 

Brieg, 160-163 

Broglie, Due Victor de, 137, 138 

Duchesse Victor de, 137-9, 


Bruges, 35 

Brussels, 57-59, 61, 68, 211 

Bubna, 173, 187-189, 193 

Junior, 189 

Byron, Lady, 26 

Lord, I, 7, 8, II, 12, 15, 

25, 28, 33, 40, 44, 51-53, 62, 
67, 68, 70, 71, 74, 88, 89, 
97-105, 107, III, 112, 1 17-120, 
123-126, 128, 132, 133, 135- 
140, 146, 147, 152, 158, 170, 
173, 174, 179-181, 186-188, 
190-193, 209-211, 213, 215, 
218, 219 

Childe Harold, by, 25, 

66, 67, 71, 80, 83, 84, 87, 94, 
95, 212 

ChurchilVs Grave, by, 


Letters and Journals of, 

loi, 133 

The Vampyre (frag- 
ment), by, 14-17, 125 

To Princess Charlott 

by, 112 




Caluro, 176, 177 
Campagne Chapuis, 1 1 7 
Canterbury, 26 
Caravella, 140 
Carlsruhe, 88, 90 
Carnot, 46, 55 
Castan, 136 
Casti, Abate, 70 

Novel le by, 70, 71 

Chamounix, 151 

Charles Edward, Prince, 199, 222 

Charles V, 37, 90 

Chillon, 153 

Churchill, Rev. Charles, 27, 30 

Clairmont, Clare, 99-103, 107, 

108, 124-126, 133-135 
Clemann, Harriet, 146 

Madame, 139, 143, 146 

Coblentz, 83, 85 

Colbum Henry, 13, 14, 18, 20 
Coleridge, S. T., 113 

Christabel, by, 126, 128, 129 

Fire, Famine, and Slaughter, 

by, 113, I IS 
Cologne, 76-80 
Cologny, 98 

Conjnigham, Lord, 149, 150 
Copeland, Thomas, 7 
Coppet, 141 
Corsi, 206 

Courier, The, 23, 112 
Cowper, Lord, 173, 174 
Curran, J. P., 117 

Dacosta, 69 

Davies, Scrope B., 25, 151, 152, 

Deagostini, John A., 6, 7 
Domo d'Ossola, 165 
Dover, 27, 31 

Dowden, Professor, 118 

■ Life of Shelley, by, 118, 119, 

124-126, 132 
Drachenfels, the, 81 
Dumont, Etienne, 104, 139, 147 


Ehrenbreitstein, 85 
Einard, Madame, 105, 106 
Evans, Rev. Mr., 145 

Fabre, 200 

Fantasmagoriana, 125 

Finch, Colonel, 173, 174, 180 

Fletcher, William, 31 

Florence, 197, 203, 218 

Floris, Franz, 50 

Angels and Devils, by, 50, 

Folchi, Signorina, 205 
Francis, Emperor, 183 
Freiburg (Baden), 90 

Galilei, Galileo, 180 
Garnett, Dr., 8, 172 

Dictionary of National 

Biography, article in, 8, ii 

Gatelier, Abate, 139, 141 

Madame, 13, 141 

Geneva, 98, 104, 106, 141, 149 

Genthoud, 141 

Ghent, 37-39, 41,42, 48 

Gianni, 179 

Glenorchy, Lord, 140, 145 

Godwin, William, 107, n 3-11 5 


Gordon, Mrs., 71 

Pryse L., 47, 66, 69-71 

Gori, 202, 203 

Gray, Thomas, 106, 147, 148 



Grove, Harriet, 113 
Guasco, 173, 174, 177, 193 
Guiccioli, Count, 221 
Guilford, Lord (Francis), 10, 209 
Guttannen, 138, 139 


Hamilton, Lady Dalrymple, 

Helmhoft, Miss, 80 

Hentsch, 105, 107 

Hervey, Mrs., 147 

Hobhouse, Sir J. Cam, 25, 28, 
140, 151, 158, 173, 174, 180, 
186-188, 193, 209, 213, 220 

Heche, General, 82, 84 

Hogg, T. Jefferson, 130 

Homer, Francis, 209 

Hougoumont, 63-65 

Howard, Colonel, 64, 66, 213 

Hunt, Leigh, 131 

Hunter, Sir C, 89 

Isella, 164 
Isola Bella, 166 
Italy, 10 


Jacquet, Madlle., 145 
Jersey, Countess of, 181, 218 

Earl of, 173, 174 

Jordaens, 52 

iSV. Apollonia, by, 52 

Julia Alpinula, 94, 95 

Kaft, 78, 79 

Kalf, 77 

Kauflfman, Angelica, 127 

Keats, John, 174 

Keswick, 131 

Kinnoul, Lord, 149 

Kruger, 40 

Judgment of Solomon, by, 40 

Lac, Chateau du, 57, 69, 70 

Lake Leman, 98, 99 

Lausanne, 96 

Lecchini, 197, 201, 205 

Leghorn, 208 

Leigh, Hon. Mrs., 51, 140 

Medora, 140 

Lewis, Matthew G., 125, 140, 

Liege, 72 
Lloyd, 140, 150, 173, 181, 182, 

193, 204 
Locatelli, Dr., 173, 181 
Lou vain, 72 


Malines, 55, 57 
Mannheim, 88 
Marceau, General, 83-85 
Marschner, 24 

The Vampyre, opera, by, 


Martineau, Harriett, 3 
Massey, Junior, 143-145 

Mr., 144 

Mastrani, Countess, 207 
Mayence, 86, 87 
Medwin, Captain, 7 

Conversations with Byron, 

by, 7 

Life of Shelley, by, 186 206 

Metsys, Quintin, 50 

Milan, 167-171, 173, 182, 183, 

190, 193, 217 
Milton, John, 99, 170 
Modena, 194, 196 
Monti, Signora, 178 



Monti, Vincenzo, 1 71-174, 178, 

183, 191, 218 

Homer translated, by, 1 78 

Moore, Thomas, 118 

Life of Byron, by, 118, 123 

Morat, 92-94 

Morning Chronicle, The, 13, 14, 

17, 18, 22 
Murat, King Joachim, 148 
Murray, John, 8, 9, 20, 21, 44, 212 

Napoleon I., 47, 54, 55, 63-65, 

69, 70, 82, 86, 127, 173, 177, 

National Portrait Gallery, 3 
Negri, Marchese, 173, 174, 178, 

Nelli, 180 
New Monthly Magazine, The, 13, 

IS, 18, 19 
New Times, The, 4 
North, Frederick, 181 
Norwich, 3 

Odier, Dr., 118, 119, 133, 151 
Odier, Madlle., 122, 132 
Onesti, Signora, 203 
Ostend, 32, 34 

Pachiani, Abate, 206, 207 
Peacock, T. L., 131 
Pellico, Silvio, 191 
Pictet de Sergy, 104, 105, 140 
Pisa, 192, 205, 209 
Polidori, Agostino A., 205 
Osteologia, by, 205 

Charlotte, 11, 32, 103 

Dr. John W., 2 

Cajetafz, by, 30, 44, 


Polidori, Dr. John W., Costumes 

of Italy, etc., by, 3 
Ernestus Berchtold, 

by, 2, 19, 22, 23, 127-129 

Oneirodynia, by, 120 

Punishment of Death, 

by, 180, 215 
The Vampyre, by, 2, 

11-18, 20-23, 125, 126 

Ximenes, by, 2, 124 

Gaetano, 2, 5, 9, 155, 170, 

197, 200, 204, 205, 219-221 

Luigi, 155, 202, 218, 219 

Signora, 202 

Pollent, 41 

Pontelli, Cavalier, 197-199, 201, 

203, 205, 218 
Porro, 172, 173 
Potocka, Countess, 125, 126 

memoirs of, 127 

Pradt, Abb6 de, 56 


Raphael, 182 

Lo Sposalizio, by, 182, 183 

Reed, Charlotte, 5-7 

Regnier, Grand Duke, 164, 171 

Rembrandt, 70, 81 

Rhine, the, 80, 82, 86, 108 
Rocca, 137, 139, 146 

Judge, 137, 147 

Roche, Dr. de, loi, 104 
Rogers, Samuel, iii, 112 
Rossetti, Frances, 209 

Gabriele, 209, 219 

Wm. M., 10 

Memoir of Shelley, by, 

Rossi, 105, 122, 132, 133, 139, 

148, 149 
Rousseau, 106 
Rubens, 39, 51 



Rubens, Adoration of Magi, by, 53 

Assembly of Saittts, by, 51 

Crucifixion, by, 52 

Descent from the Cross, by, 

52, S3 

Martyrdom of St. Peter, by, 


St. George, etc., by, 51 

St. Roch and the Plague- 
stricken, by, 39 

Visitation, by, 53 

Rushton, Robert, 31, 152 
Ryan, Major, 130 

Saint Aubyn, Sir John, 140, 


Tillotson, 140, 151 

Saint Gothard, Mount, 158, 159 
Saladin, Alexis, 144 

August e, 144, 146 

Charles, 142, 144 

Madlle., 144, 147 

Mathilde, 144 

of Vaugeron, 134-136, I39. 

Saladins of Maligny, 140, 145 
Saporati, Marchese, 134, 149 
Saussure, Nicholas T., 139, 145 
Scala, Teatro della, 169, 171, 

Scheldt, the, 46 
Schlegel, August W. von, 137, 

139, 146 
Scott, Sir Walter, 70 
Secheron, 99, icx), 103 
Severn, Joseph, 181 
Sgricci, 183-186 

Artemisia, by, 184 

Eteocle e Polinice, by, 184 

Ettore, by, 185, 186 

Shakespear, 147, 148 

Shelley, Harriet, 109, 128, 130 

Mary, 12, 23, 99-102, 106- 

108, no, 113, 116, 118, 123- 
128, 133-135. 209, 219 

Frankenstein, by, 19, 

125, 126 
Memoir of Alfieri, by, 

219, 220 

Percy B., i, 3, 98-102, 104, 

106-110, 112-118, 120-133, 
13s. 136, 138, 185, 186, 204 

Epipsychidion, by, 206 

Poetical Essay, etc., 

by, no 

Queen Mab, by, 107 

Zastrozzi, by, 109 

William, 116 

Sherwood and Neely, 16, 22 
Simplon, the, 163 

Slaney, Mr., 149 

Mrs., 122, 140, 149 

Soane, John, 81, 212 

Mrs., 212 

Somers, Mr., 141, 150, 204 
Stael, Madame de, 137, 139, 146, 

152, 216 
Swarrow, 172, 173, 183, 188 

Tasso, 116, 119 
Teniers, David, 40 

Temptation of St. Anthony, 

by, 40 

Thun, 154, 15s 

Lake of, 154 

Tintoretto, 79 
Toffettheim, 143 
TofFettheim, Madame, 139, 143 
Traveller, The (magazine), 4 
Trevanion, Mr., 140 

Mrs., 140 



Unterwalden, i6i, 162 

Vacca, Antonio, 155, 204-206, 

Leopoldo, 204 

Madame, 206 

Valence, 150 
Vandyck, 41, 51, 53 

Crucifixion^ by, 41, 53 

Van Eyck, 40 

Villa Diodati, Cologny, 98-100, 

no, III, 120, 121, 125 
Viviani, Conte, 192 

Viviani, Emilia, 206 

Wallraf, Professor, 78 
Wallraf-Richartz Museum, 78 
Ward, John W. (Lord Dudley), 

Waterloo, 62-64, 213, 214 
Watts, Mr., 18, 20 
Wellington, Duke of, 68, 69 
Westmorland, Countess of, 181,. 

216, 218 
Wildman, Colonel, 68 
Wordsworth, Wm., 28 
Wotheron, Mr., 173, 174, 180, 181 
Wraxall, Sir Nathaniel, 67, 68 

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